As part of the observance of Cancer Awareness Month, Cocktails and Contacts, and Corporate Events Management, partnered with the St. Lucia Golf Club and other sponsors to host a fundraiser dubbed “Cocktails for a Cure”. The activity was held on Wednesday October 28th.
For Cocktails and Contacts, the fundraising event was the transformation of their networking social framework with the objective of assisting a breast cancer patient to pay for treatment. The organizers also sought to raise awareness of cancer prevention and of treatment.
On the night, attendees were welcome to mingle, network and, of course, support the main initiative, which was the battle against the disease.
Cocktails and Contacts’ owner and events director, Shernell Lionel, gave the opening speech on the night.
“Cancer is something that has affected the lives of several members of my family, from my uncle who died two years ago from lupus, my cousin living with lupus, to my aunt who is a breast cancer survivor,” Lionel said. “And so when a team member suggested that we do something for Cancer Awareness Month, I jumped on it and said we are doing something for a breast cancer patient. This is how and why ‘Cocktails for a Cure’ was born.”
Guest speaker for the night was Dr. Owen O. Gabriel, a Saint Lucian oncologist. Dr. Gabriel educated participants about the risk factors of cancer and sensitized them in regard to diet and exercise, while encouraging them to get tested.
“I notice the presence of the Bureau of Standards here tonight; it is vital that we begin to examine the food we eat – a lot of the foods and drinks we consume are not healthy and contain carcinogens.” Dr. Gabriel said. “The boxed juices we give our children and the canned drinks are not healthy.”
Speaking on early detection he gave this scenario: “I just saw a 37-year-old who had surgery to have a lump in her breast removed, only to be told that there was a second lump present. Had there been early detection we would have been able to treat her effectively.”
There was rapt attention in the room, by the men, particularly, when Dr. Gabriel pointed to the prevalence of breast cancer in men and not just women as the popular thought goes.
Also in attendance was Dr. Jeaneen Payne, General Practitioner of M-Care Medical Clinic, who performed free breast examinations on site to interested persons.
Stevensia Theophane, vice president of Faces of Cancer and a cancer survivor, also gave attendees some motivation to get tested through her inspiring speech. Faces of Cancer is a non-profit organization which supports newly-diagnosed patients, patients in treatment, survivors, terminally ill patients, caregivers and family members.
“I see young beautiful women all dressed up and ask them, ‘Have you done your breast examination?’ You know what they tell me? ‘I am scared, or the test is too painful.’ I say to them: ‘You know what’s painful? Painful is when you’ve been told you have breast cancer.’ The test may be a little uncomfortable. It is better to know early in order to get treatment. Cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence,” Theophane said boldly.
Among sponsors who were represented at the fundraiser, was the Royal Bank of Canada which made a donation in support of the cause. Peter & Company Distribution, AIM and M-Care were also onboard for this worthy cause.