Pink October campaign to raise funds for new equipment

NGOs talk about the importance of frequent screening and of knowing how to spot important changes

Marigold Foundation Chairperson Michelle Muscat, health Parliamentary Secretary Chris Fearne, Social Solidarity Minister Michael Farrugia • Photos by Ray Attard
Marigold Foundation Chairperson Michelle Muscat, health Parliamentary Secretary Chris Fearne, Social Solidarity Minister Michael Farrugia • Photos by Ray Attard
Europa Donna Malta president Gertrude Abela
Europa Donna Malta president Gertrude Abela
JP Advertising director Adrian Fabri
JP Advertising director Adrian Fabri
Parliamentary Heath Secretary Chris Fearne
Parliamentary Heath Secretary Chris Fearne
Social Solidarity minister Michael Farrugia
Social Solidarity minister Michael Farrugia
Marigold Foundation chairperson Michelle Muscat
Marigold Foundation chairperson Michelle Muscat
Pink October campaign to raise funds for new equipment • Video by Ray Attard

This year’s Pink October campaign to raise awareness about the fight against breast cancer will be raising funds for the provision of new equipment to fight the disease, Chairperson of the Marigold Foundation Michelle Muscat said earlier today.

Speaking at the Pink October launch, Muscat said that the campaign had two aims; that of raising awareness about the importance of frequent screening and to ensure early diagnosis, and to raise funds that will go into a better screening machine to be used during operations and ensure that the Cancer is removed completely during this process.

She explained that the campaign, now in its second year, aimed to reach even a wider audience.

“Both the NGOs involved in the campaign, that is Europa Donna Malta and the Action for breast cancer foundation, were run by survivors of the disease, and that as such they could understand the reality of the situation and provide appropriate support.

 Parliamentary health secretary Chris Fearne spoke about the importance of pooling resources together as much as possible.

Speaking about the importance of early diagnosis, Fearne said that survival rates for early diagnoses reached some 95%, and that the age bracket for state-offered screening had been increased to include women up to 65 years of age.

Fearne also referred to the recently launched app Imagine X which looked into women’s family history and calculated their risk of developing the disease.

He pointed out that the annual average of people affected by the disease in Malta reached some women and four men.

 Taking up Fearne’s point, Social solidarity minister Michael Farrugia spoke about the importance of being vigilant against the disease whatever our ages or gender. 

“People need to be aware of how to spot the signs of the disease,” he said, adding that early screening had had significant effects in preventing and fighting the disease.

 Action for Breast Cancer foundation co-founder Esther Sant said that the foundation hoped that screening calls would be moved to a two-year gap rather than the current three years and that many had become concerned by the cost of medications.

Europa Donna Malta president Gertrude Abela said that the organization often created awareness campaigns, and published books on the matter, and that it focused on creating a safe space for women to discuss their experiences with survivors and fellow patients.

Adrian Fabri, director of JP Advertising, the company running the campaign, said that the idea behind the current campaign was that of “creating an army of people who wanted to fight the disease.”

He added that that was the idea behind the images taken in the campaign and invited members of the public to don their war stripes and show their support for the cause. 

Among the events organized during the campaign, Fabri explained that there would be a motorcycle drive from Armier to the Cavallieri hotel in St Julians, as well as a a breast cancer walk from Birgu to Smart City.

More information can be found on the Pink October Facebook page at facebook.com/pinkoctobermalta

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