Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon aims to create massive awareness of breast cancer
In South Africa, 1 in 29 women is diagnosed with breast cancer annually, a marked increase in comparison to the 1 in 31 women that was recorded by the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) in the previous national cancer registry in 2003. This is in line with the World Health Organisation’s assertion that the majority (69%) of all breast cancer deaths are increasingly occurring in developing countries. With treatment becoming ever more sophisticated, breast cancer, which is the leading cause of cancer related deaths in women, can be treated if detected early.
It is estimated that with early detection, the survival rate can be as high as 95%. “We’ve established that facilitating early detection means educating the public and creating awareness of breast cancer in our communities,” says Vicky Saunders-Flaherty, Avon Justine, PR, Internal Communications & Corporate Affairs Manager. “Avon Justine iThemba is contributing to breast cancer education and awareness through mobile education units that we’ve donated to the Breast Health Foundation (BHF) and the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) as well as through the annual iThemba Walkathons.”
Avon Justine works with the Breast Health Foundation to ensure breast cancer education and awareness in communities, particularly in rural areas such as the vast Sedibeng region in the Vaal. Since 2010, the unit in the area has reached over 95 000 women with education by a breast cancer survivor. Avon Justine has also funded a mobile unit in the Western Cape in partnership with Curves and in the Free State for CANSA. Together these units have educated just under 170 000 women with approximately 436 of them being referred for treatment (surgery or chemotherapy) in 2012 alone. In addition, Avon Justine donates R180 000 worth of products to Look Good…Feel Better for their workshops with women cancer patients across the country. This programme has helped 8900 women.
The Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon in Johannesburg is held during breast cancer month in October every year and attracts close to 16 000 participants. Aimed at creating awareness of breast cancer in South Africa, the event has been successful in reaching a large majority of South Africans with the support of media partners such as Woman & Home, Kaya FM and M-Net Cares as well as celebrities and breast cancer survivors who will take centre stage again this year.
Scheduled for Sunday, 27 October at Marks Park in Johannesburg, the Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon is suitable for the whole family including dogs. Adults pay R85 while children under 12 pay R60 to participate and toddlers up to the age of two enter for free. The event will start with a 5km walk at 09h00 while live entertainment from the M-Net Idols, various food stalls, Avon and Justine stalls will greet the participants when they finish. There is also a kiddie’s corner to keep the toddlers and young children entertained. Participants must pre-register on the registration site www.ithembawalkathon.co.za which will open on Thursday, 25, July. Participants can also make a donation into the iThemba Fund and can raise additional funds by getting sponsored for every kilometre they walk to donate into the iThemba fund by simply downloading the form on the registration site and asking friends, family and colleagues to sponsor each kilometre.
Following the Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon in October, Avon Justine will make a monetary donation to the Breast Health Foundation / Bosom Buddies support group as well as a product donation to Look Good…Feel Better.
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