The annual Cancer Walk from Celina’s Bar in Ladyville to the Cancer Society office in Belize City took place on Saturday morning, May 25, and by its organizers’ estimates, it was the biggest ever. Heather Reneau is the administrative assistant at the Belize Cancer Society.
Heather Reneau – Belize Cancer Society:
This year we expect over fifteen hundred people participating in the walk, almost two thousand.
[People] are paying attention. The message is coming across.
For the last three to four years the crowd has definitely grown. Every year it’s grown a little bit more, I guess, because there are so meny people suffering from different kinds of Cancer.
First female participant:
If we’re not suffering from Cancer, we know someone who has died from it or who is right now dealing with it. I think people are being fully aware. People now have become very health conscious.
Prominent cancer survivors who confirmed their attendance on Facebook included City Councilor Dion Leslie and Special Envoy for Women and Children Kim Simplis-Barrow. But cancer strikes high and low, as we found when we spoke to other participants, some well-known, others not, but all concerned about the ongoing threat of cancer.
Out of my family, a lot of them have had Cancer, but all of them survived: my grandma, my dad, my uncle, my great-grandfather, but all of them survived. I like to come out in support of them.
Another female participant:
I try to do it every year. My aunt was diagnosed in 2007. She passed away last year. This is my fourth Cancer Walk. I love it.
The Belize Cancer Society gave out small prizes to the first finisher, first cancer survivor to finish, first female, oldest, youngest and other special participants. Many businesses participated in and sponsored the event, including the Belize City Council, BWS, BTL, Smart, Belize Bank, Brothers Habet, San Cas Group, Seaboard Marine, and Diamonds International. The Walk concludes May as Cancer Awareness Month under the theme, “Did You Know: Get the Facts!”