Sharjah: The 10th Pink Caravan Ride (PCR), organised by Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP), commenced its 10-day annual run on Wednesday, aimed at providing at least 10,000 free medical examinations for early detection of breast cancer across the UAE.
His Highness Shaikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and Shaikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends Of Cancer Patients (FoCP), signaled the start of the ride at the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club, where the opening ceremony was held.
This year’s edition has adopted the slogan ‘Plenty is not Enough’. Over 350 doctors and medical professionals, 150 riders and100 volunteers will travel across the seven emirates until March 6, advocating the importance of regular screenings and early detection of breast cancer in successfully tackling the disease.
Free consultations will be available at 70 fixed and mobile clinics spread across the UAE to boost the country’s goal of bringing down cancer fatalities by 18 per cent before 2021.
Addressing the PCR riders and volunteers, Shaikha Jawaher said: “When I run my eyes over this group of riders, doctors, volunteers and partners, who will lead efforts of the 10th Pink Caravan Ride, I see a reflection of every human and cultural value our Emirati society is built upon.”
“I am assured that the hope and determination you carry in your hearts will forever safeguard our future. Our nation’s continued progress is not based on material possessions, but an abundance of human wealth.”
“You have instilled awareness that wasn’t there 10 years ago; attracted more partners and supporters and empowered people to take control of their wellbeing, especially those who wouldn’t touch a taboo topic or did not know that breast cancer affects both women and men,” Shaikha Jawaher added.
For Reem BinKaram, head of PCR’s Higher Steering Committee, the Pink Caravan Ride is not just an annual campaign but also a journey of life.
“We continue our ride until our message of the importance of early detection to confront the dangers this disease poses to society, reaches every home, individual and institution in the UAE,” BinKaram underlined.
She noted in the past nine years, the PCR campaign has offered free early-detection screenings to over 64,100 people of different nationalities and ages, including around 10,000 male residents. The total cost of free screenings was over Dh 30 million while around 670 volunteer riders have traveled over 1,800 kilometres so far.
“We are not done yet,” she said, adding, “more people need to get checked and those who already do need to get their re-examinations done every year. The disease does not wait, and every minute during which it goes undetected becomes a decisive factor in the outcome.”
Sharjah Cancer Research Centre for Cancer to open next month
His Highness Shaikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, has announced the the inauguration of a new cancer R&D (research and development) centre in Sharjah next month.
“On behalf of Sharjah, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher has led tremendous efforts to establish several centres dedicated to cancer awareness, treatment and research around the world. Some are already operational and some others will be launched soon. In mid-March, the UAE will witness the launch of the Sharjah Cancer Research Centre for Cancer. Also, a new building for the National Cancer Institute in Cairo University will be inaugurated,” Shaikh Sultan declared on Wednesday.
”Please thank HH Sheikha Jawaher for her tremendous efforts,” added Shaikh Sultan, who also thanked Pink Caravan Ride’s partners for their continued support.
The Sharjah Ruler said: “Society doesn’t develop and grow without combined efforts. We want to pass on to our children the values of volunteerism and community service. We want to tell our donors and supporters that their contribution of Dh1 is worth one million when we put in the hands of those who are tackling the increasing number of cancer cases in the UAE and around the world.”
Pink Caravan day two
On Thursday, February 27, the ride will travel 21 kilometres, setting off from the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry at 8am, and march through the Sharjah Islamic Bank to make a second stop at the Abdullah Ibn Abbas Mosque. There will be another stop at Mega Mall Sharjah, then Sharjah Police Headquarter and Supreme Council For Family Affairs before it reaches the last stop of the day at Al Majaz Waterfront.
There is a fixed clinic at Al Majaz Waterfront offering free checkups from 4 – 10pm until March 6 while four clinics will be dedicated to women’s checkups at the Mega Mall, Sharjah Ladies Club, Sahara Mall and Sharjah Broadcasting Authority. A clinic at Jubail Market will receive men.