Eleuthera, Bahamas — Susan G. Komen, a US nonprofit organization whose focus is to end breast cancer, recently approved a multiyear grant to One Eleuthera Foundation (OEF) to continue its Breast Cancer Outreach Program (BCOP) on the island of Eleuthera and expand to its reach to Cat Island, Exuma and Long Island.
“Saving Our Sisters, Strengthening Families” has been the driving theme of the BCOP. To achieve this, the program provides vital breast cancer awareness and support to women and their families. This includes paying attention to breast health, promoting regular screenings and the importance of early detection, encouraging healthy life styles through health walks and weekly workout sessions, and support for those battling the disease.
“With breast cancer being one of the leading causes of death among Bahamian women, awareness and education is key to reducing this alarming trend”, said Community Outreach Coordinator for BCOP, Maisie Thompson.
Since its inception in 2013, the BCOP’s message has directly and indirectly reached tens of thousands of Bahamians. This success is due, in great part, to the generosity of Susan G. Komen who has funded the program from the very beginning.
“Komen is proud to support an organization that has made such an important impact in educating women about breast cancer and providing health services to women throughout the Bahamas,” said Victoria Wolodzko, VP, Research & Community Health Programs Operations. “Breast cancer knows no borders, affecting families and communities worldwide, which is exactly why the BCOP is so important in the Bahamas, where the burden from breast cancer is very high. Through our partnership, we will be able to touch, and potentially save, more lives.”
“The BCOP, has brought knowledge concerning cancer to those who were in the dark”, said Suzette Kemp, and member of Sisterhood of Survivors Support Group.
There is a constant need for breast cancer education. The continuation of the BCOP is vital to reducing the trends so that women on Eleuthera and in The Bahamas are always aware of the risks they face if they neglect their health. One Eleuthera Foundation and the people it serves are grateful to Susan G. Komen for understanding this need and providing the opportunity for OEF to assist in keeping Bahamians informed about breast cancer and providing them with the support they need.
“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. The Breast Cancer Outreach Program and Cancer Society of Eleuthera have played a major role in my life. Because of the program and Ms. Thompson we are learning to smile in spite of the pain”, she continued.