BASSETERRE St. Kitts, January 15th, 2014 -- Pink Lily bids a BIG farewell to 2013, its 5th birthday year in Nevis and what a year it was!
It was a year that exceeded expectations in more ways than one and inspired a greater sense of purpose.
It was nearly 6 years ago that Pink Lily planted the seed of a Vision of a Cancer Support Centre, that would provide Quality Cancer Care (awareness & support) and that Life saving treatment would be available on the Island of Nevis island.
Although the official birthday is on February 9th, Pink Lily celebrated its 5th birthday by hosting a Poetry & Fashion show in April, introducing a variety of talented individuals, cancer survivors and members of the public that wanted to be a part of the celebration. It was well attended and thoroughly enjoyed by all.
I myself, had the pleasure of coming home in October to be a part of Pink Lily’s Celebrate 5 years walk-a-thon. (The biggest walk-a-thon yet! With over 400 walkers) I had the opportunity to be amongst the Pink Lily supporters at the walk and conduct talks and interviews during my short visit and was able to personally express my thanks to the people of Nevis for believing in Pink Lily and trusting me to deliver my promise of Quality Cancer Care. And of course I brought along my two daughters (to show that there is life after cancer).
I would like to reflect on the past 5 years of Pink Lily Cancer Care as an NGO (a voluntary organization) that has been changing the face of Cancer in Nevis, resulting in a positive domino and rippling effect that has seen the general public, businesses and churches, come together in love and support of Pink Lily and each other.
Individuals touched by cancer, organizations, schools and churches have either been encouraged to break the silence by sharing personal experiences to help others facing cancer or have felt inspired to be more open to receiving education about cancer and others have generously raised funds, supported Pink Lily events, made donations or volunteer their time to help make a difference.
Medical professionals and the Ministry of health have publically acknowledged Pink Lily and the work it has been doing in the fight against cancer in the Federation. Doctors and the Ministry of health have held symposiums and meetings to discuss the future of cancer care in the Federation and created their own Cancer awareness initiatives.
Medical professionals on island and overseas have networked, held discussions and built relationships in order to make Chemotherapy treatment available in Nevis, giving hope to those in need of life saving treatment, reducing financial burden and the anxiety of having to go overseas, away from home.
Pink Lily has continued to reach new people through TV (Info Channel-Ch 8), radio broadcasts, news announcements, social media sites, online news sites, the distribution of awareness material, through printed media, appeals, fundraisers and by our annual cancer awareness walkathon.
All of which enabled us to continue raising Pink Lily’s profile and extend a hand of comfort, support and care during times of uncertainty and anxiety, from detection, throughout treatment, on the road to recovery and in sorrow and grief.
Throughout 2013 Pink Lily used every possible media outlet to help spread Pink Lily messages of all cancer awareness.
Info Channel (Channel 8) broadcast Pink Lily messages regularly in Nevis throughout the year to ensure that the important messages of awareness and prevention reached as many people as possible in the privacy and comfort of their homes for all members of the family. Also to advertise Pink Lily’s confidential practical, emotional and spiritual support and care Services and contact details.
Pink Lily has been very fortunate to enlist the support and expertise of journalist Pauline Ngunjiri, who as Pink Lily Cancer Care Public Relations Officer(PRO) ensured our visibility in all media outlets. Consequently the media multiplied the impact of messages circulated by Pink Lily.
Pink Lily kicked off 2013 on January 2nd by providing Scotia Bank with cancer awareness booklets.
Also in January, Pink Lily was invited for a second year to distribute prostate cancer awareness literature at Dr. Thwaites Prostate cancer free screening day at Alexander Hospital in Nevis, which attracted over 300 men.
In January, in the UK, I, Lea was invited to talk at the SANAS (Saint Kitts and Nevis Association Slough) AGM the UK in the presence of the High Commissioner of St. Kitts & Nevis. This was an opportunity to promote Pink Lily and appeal to Nevisians in Slough to fund raise for Pink Lily.
February, saw Pink Lily commemorate World Cancer Day and (Pink Lily volunteers Penny Avery, Tracy Parris, Cindy Freeman and Maureen Modan) distributed all cancer awareness literature in Memorial square, Charlestown, and displayed breast models for demonstrations of breast self-examinations. Pink Lily received an early birthday surprise during World Cancer Day of Pink iced cupcakes by the Minister of health, the Honorable Mark Brantley.
On February 8th, the eve of Pink Lily’s 5th birthday the vision for chemotherapy treatment in Nevis became reality, fulfilled by Dr Erole Hobdy with the opening of The Chemotherapy Centre Nevis. The launch ceremony was a collaboration with Dr Jessica Bardalis, Nevis maternal health fund, Dr Erole Hobdy, Pink Lily and the Ministry of Health.
Pink Lily celebrated its 5th birthday on February 9th and published a 5th birthday issue newsletter and broadcast it 5 year picture gallery on Info channel (Ch 8)
Also in Feb, Pink Lily was Invited to a Pre-Valentine lunch by Denise Morgan, head of Montessori Academy Nevis, funds were raised by serving lunch.
In March, Pink Lily distributed Prostate, Ovarian & Colon Awareness & Prevention posters around Nevis as a part of the all cancer awareness campaign.
In April, The Nevis audience was touched, moved, inspired and entertained with an evening of poetry, song, dance and fashion as Pink Lily Cancer Care presented a event dubbed, “Celebrate Life” (generously sponsored by TDC) at the state of the art Nevis Performing Arts Centre (Nepac). The Poetry & Fashion show was the vision of Miss Zelma Prentice who accepted the challenge to coordinate the event with the assistance of the Pink Lily volunteers and newcomer Shauna Fergus.
Also in April Easter Cancer Awareness & Spiritual support ads were broadcast on info channel (Ch 8).
As always for May, Pink Lily distributed Breast & Cervical cancer Awareness Flyers for (Mother’s day), continuing the message to regularly check breasts and have PAP smears.
In the UK I was surprisingly nominated and won an award for the MBA (Mixed blessings award in London, for the Category “Against the odds” for founding Pink Lily Cancer Care in Nevis after my personal experience with cancer. The Award was presented by His Excellency High Commissioner Kevin Isaac and International Jazz musician Sir Courtney Pine OBE .
In June for (Father’s day) with Prostate and testicular cancer Awareness Flyer distribution, reminding all men that they too need to be aware of the cancers that are specifically related to men.
while in the UK, I, Lea completed training in the Principles of End of Life care, grief & bereavement, in order to develop and increase the quality of Pink Lily’s support and care services.
August saw Pink Lily’s profile raised again during a Culturama event in Nevis, this time on Jouvert morning in the shape of a Pink Lily decorated mini van, kindly organized by the Culturama secretariat. Pink Lily designed a Culturama Cancer aware flyer for distribution.
In August Pink Lily answered an appeal and made a donation of EC$1000 to a cancer sufferer for urgent treatment.
Also in August in the UK, I, Lea was invited to talk at Leicester Nevis Development Association to promote Pink Lily in the UK and they generously donated £630 from a bake sale.
October was an active month for Pink Lily Cancer Care, with the organization of the Pink Lily Celebrate 5 years walk-a-thon and the distribution of awareness literature.
October was also a busy time media-wise with multiple interviews & talks and cancer awareness presentations, which commenced with an invitation from The Wesleyan Holiness Church in Newcastle for a Breast cancer awareness month church service and continued with interviews on Choice FM and V.O.N Radio and by Leewards times newspaper. I was also invited to share my testimony at the Government road “Church of Christ” women’s ministry.
I was glad to have been able to visit with a couple of Pink Lily clients who are currently undergoing cancer treatment. Their cancers were different to mine and each other’s. It reminded me that Cancer is cancer regardless of what part of the body it attacks. We will all experience fears, anxiety, concerns and have families and friends that will be anxious too.
Also in October as Pink Lily’s Executive director I paid visits to the Minister of Health & Permanent Secretary and put forward requests for funding for Awareness billboards island wide and for funding a full time Pink Lily staff member.
The Celebrate 5 years walk-a-thon was a great success and exceeded expectations with a turnout of over 400 walkers, The BIGGEST yet! that resulted in Pink Lily volunteers having to source more breakfast to cater for the extra walkers.
There were more generous sponsors this year (Rams Trading Ltd, Northern & Western Insurance Company, Four Season Resorts, Delisle Walwyn, Caribbean Alliance Insurance Co, Strikers care Rentals, Scotia Bank, Sunshine’s , and Info channel). Breakfast was deliciously prepared and served by loyal walk-a-thon volunteers and contributors Errol Pemberton, Boddie, Livingston Liburd, Lucia Parris-Liburd, Maureen Modan, Julie Claxton and volunteer helpers while all other Pink Lily volunteers each played vital roles in the event.
There were also more men this year, more children and even a dog on a leash. It was a great demonstration of the growth in cancer awareness in Nevis and the growing support of Pink Lily and the valuable services that it provides.
Pink Lily also welcomed a donation presentation and pledge of a monthly US$200 donation by Northern and Western Insurance Company.
As a cancer survivor and founder of Pink Lily, I, Lea, was filmed, with my children for Dr. Jessica Bardales Breast cancer awareness video for her Loving touch gentle exam campaign.
I, Lea, was invited to Maude Smith school in bath village, where the children had a dress Pink day and did a walk around bath village to raise funds. I wrote and read a children’s story “Making Tommy smile” to help children understand how they can put a smile on a sick friends face. I used teddy bears as puppets to help tell the story. This encouraged interaction with the children and they enjoyed taking part.
Almon Dasent and his team, captured hours of video footage during registration days and the walkathon, of supporters and the general public sharing their views about Pink Lily and the services that we have been providing in Nevis. The team also filmed Pink Lily volunteers performing the Electric slide and in interviews. All footage will be used for future programmes and documentaries.
Also in October CIBC First Caribbean Bank generously made a donation from their organized Cancer walk and the Newcastle Wesleyan Holiness Church kindly gave a donation from funds collected during their breast cancer awareness service.
Finally in October, Pink Lily provided Breast & Cervical awareness literature for the Maternal health Fund and Ministry of Health’s “Loving touch gentle exam campaign” at the request of Dr Jessica Bardales. I, Lea, accepted an invitation and attended the launch.
I was happy to see the different Doctors, health advisors and the Ministry of health come together for this programme to help continue spreading the awareness message of early cancer screening, prevention and early detection. New audiences will be reached at different times by different people. Dr Bardales is using her own personal experience with breast cancer and has enlisted others touched by cancer with whom she has shared a journey as well as others in the community who recognise her as their trusted doctor and friend to help encourage others to take cancer seriously.
In Nov, St Thomas's Church generously presented Pink Lily with a congregational donation.
Also in November Tracy Parris and Cindy Freeman gave a Cancer awareness talk to Gingerland Secondary School.
As the end of 2013 drew near, Info channel broadcast the Pink Lily Christmas prayer, to help encourage and give comfort, hope and peace to those touched by cancer.
As with 2010, 2011 and 2012, 2013 saw an increase in newly diagnosed cancer clients and their families reaching out to Pink Lily for support. Pink Lily also continued to offer and provide its confidential support service to its existing cancer clients.
Sadly in 2013 we said goodbye to loved ones who fought but succumbed to cancer. They will be sorely missed, forever in our hearts and their families in our prayers.
We would like to say THANK YOU for uniting with us and helping to make a difference in 2013.
I urge you to continue supporting Pink Lily and help us raise the funds we need to fight cancer.
Whatever we do, where ever we go and whatever we give…….. It’s all because of YOU.
The Pink Lily Volunteers who dedicate their time to carry out Pink Lily’s work, do so in order to help make a difference. They do what they do without reward or pay and very often without acknowledgment or thanks. Each plays a vital role in helping to fulfill the growing demands of Pink Lily’s work and are ready to be there for you at whatever stage, every step of the way, whatever your enquiry or concern, for information, support, as friends and confidantes.
Your Pink Lily volunteers for 2013 were Tracy Parris, Cindy Freeman, Pauline Ngunjiri, Penny Avery, Brenda Clarke, Zelma Prentice, Maureen Modan, Shauna Fergus, Lucia Parris-Liburd, Adiola Brookes, Eronda Lewis and Lea Parris-Cambridge.
Pink Lily Cancer Care exists to reduce the fear, stigma and phobia associated with cancer by providing support, care and education. We create a better understanding of cancer and give hope to people living with or affected by cancer in St Kitts and Nevis and the wider Caribbean.
If you would like talk with someone, need support, would like to fundraise, make a donation or volunteer with Pink Lily please call us on 1 869 664 3306 or email lea@email@example.com or tracy@firstname.lastname@example.org
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