Dubai: Inspiring and courageous breast cancer survivors represented the 2016 edition of Warriors in Pink campaign to reflect on their battles with the disease and share their heart-wrenching stories.
The Ford Motor Company’s programme brought together five breast cancer survivors from the UAE to support, inspire and empower patients, survivors and co-survivors of the disease year after year.
Ford organised several photo sessions for survivors — “Models of Courage” — across the Middle East and North Africa region, in the hope that these courageous ladies’ actions can inspire current and future patients in their own battles.
This year’s edition was more of an adrenalin-fuelled event held in a boxing ring at the Fit Republik fitness centre in Sports City, Dubai. The survivors modelled the new apparel and accessories collection of the “Warriors in Pink” clothing and accessories line, which includes a wide range of items from scarves to shirts, and shared their powerful message of hope.
Algerian Hanifa Meslem said after being diagnosed with cancer, “You start appreciating the really simple pleasures of life. Waking up in the morning, being healthy, being able to walk. This was also an opportunity to see who was really there for me.”
She smiles. “I will never stress anymore about anything. It’s not good and it will not change. Whatever comes it’s here, and we have to deal with it. I live now, in every single moment.”
Dikrayat Saleh, another Model of Courage from the UK, said she has no regrets after getting breast cancer, even after a gruelling period of diagnosis, treatment and a mastectomy, the removal of one of her breasts.
“I see it as a blessing in disguise,” she said. “It’s changed me 80 per cent. It’s made me not to take everything so seriously, not to be so stressed, not to make a big deal out of small issues.
“Be grateful for every single day you have, because you don’t know what’s around the next corner.”
Sue Nigoghossian, general manager, Communications, Ford Middle East and North Africa, they were thrilled to welcome these women to the Models of Courage programme. “We are proud to have them represent Warriors in Pink in the region. This campaign has flourished into a long-standing programme in the Middle East and North Africa, and we continue to be committed to raising greater awareness of breast cancer and the importance of early detection as it can help save lives.”
Breast cancer affects one in five people in the UAE, according to the Health Authority Abu Dhabi. Many other factors, such as social stigma, cultural issues and a lack of awareness were blamed for late detection.
Ford Middle East and North Africa has again partnered with the Zulekha Hospital to offer free mammograms and consultations during the month of October. Women in the UAE can register again for free mammograms at the Zulekha Hospitals in Dubai and Sharjah till December 31.