2 November 2017
There is no other place to be this Saturday other than Old Hararians Sports Club where the Zimpapers Annual Cancer Power Walk will be taking place.
In partnership with Island Hospice, the walk is held as a way of raising awareness to the serious issue that Cancer has become. Most of us have lost a loved one or someone that we know to Cancer. We probably already have a friend that is currently affected by one Cancer or other. We know of people who have lost the battle to it or those whose plight we even read about or heard about through the media.
How many times have we come across appeals from families who want to take their children or loved ones for some procedure outside the country’s borders where options are said to be more available. To be honest; here in Zimbabwe at the moment a Cancer Diagnosis is as good as a death sentence. Once one is diagnosed with Cancer, a long and painful road beckons ahead.
It truly is heartbreaking. It truly is not easy. It takes me back to those days when HIV was just becoming a reality in this country. An HIV diagnosis back then spelt death to many families. And many people did die. Just try and think back to those days when many people would be absent from work almost every month as they buried loved ones.
I was a child but I saw it. I saw the grief that overcame mostly the elderly generation as they buried one son after another and one daughter after another. I saw many homes being left with only grandparents and small children as all the children who had gone out there to work and build careers for themselves suddenly came back home sick and dying; to spend their last days being nursed by their elderly mothers.
As I look at what is happening with Cancer I can only pray that it does not get to that. We must try to prevent as much as possible deaths upon deaths as a result of Cancer. There are already too many people who are dying as we speak.
In the Zimpapers Cancer Campaign, which has seen the Group partnering Island Hospice to raise Cancer Awareness over the past three years; what has become clear is that with cancer; early detection saves lives. People are encouraged to go for early screening. People are encouraged to always get checks for these cancers especially cervical and breast cancer for women while men above the age of 40 are also asked to ensure that they go for regular checks to make sure that everything will be in order. By going early; one can save their life. Indeed there are people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer who are walking around now after having had surgery that could have seen them losing the said breast. I know friends who also had their uterus taken out after it was discovered early that they have cancerous cells. By taking it out; they were able to prevent Cancer.
It is for that increased appreciation about the importance of going for regular and early screenings that we are in this drive. It is for the purposed of lobbying policy makers to come up with policies that will deal with this serious problem that we are in this drive. It is to encourage healthier lifestyles that Zimpapers is in this drive. We have since found out through our interactions with Island Hospice as part of our partnership that Cancer and other non-communicable diseases commonly known as Lifestyle Diseases are related to how we live our lives.
We cannot deny that any of us these days are overweight. We cannot deny that we over-indulge even in the habits we keep. Most of us drink too much. Some of us sleep around too much. We do not even test for HIV. We also do not eat healthy. Some of us do not even eat cooked food. Instead we eat take-aways and literally live on gochi gochi, at times consuming food that is not well cooked. While a treat from time to time can never be a bad thing for any of us; it becomes an issue if that becomes a way of life.
Some of us last broke a sweat when we were in school and were forced to participate in athletics or another sport. Now; we cannot be bothered and are so unfit that it is shocking. We can no longer afford to do that people. There are all sorts of problems apart from Cancer. The likes of you BP and Diabetes are just some.
That is why you need to find your way to Old Hararians Sports Club on Saturday. Apart from walking five kilometers alongside other like-minded Zimbabweans, by coming through one has the chance to have a Zumba session with the popular Zumba instructor Zororo Nhira as well as free health checks by the several service providers who will be on site.
This is one activity we need to be present at. Let’s join the fight. As a collective we can show our commitment towards seeing cancer being responded to. We can raise more awareness. We can show solidarity with those who are sick. We can raise awareness about the importance of preventing pain for those already sick. Island Hospice takes about the importance of palliative care for those who are suffering from Cancer. On Saturday Island Hospice will be available to share more information on palliative care.
Let’s come together Zimbabwe this Saturday. We did it before with HIV. We need to do it with Cancer. As more people live with HIV; experts tell us we will have even more cancer cases. Then of course there are those cancers that have no relation to HIV. But the facts are stubborn whichever way you look at it. Cancer is real and is with us. Join the Zimpapers Group this week so we don’t just raise awareness but also funds for Cancer.
To register get in touch with the Zimpapers Public Relations Team as follows: Pauline Matanda-071 5 679 405, Chipo Mangwayana-0772 902 478, Vivian Mugarisi-0779 215 530
To avoid cash hassles you can pay your registration fee ($5 for adults, $2 for children) on Zimpapers Merchant code 33636 and share the confirmation with the PR team.
Join the fight!