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Pinktober is here and here’s how you can help

#PINKtober is here and Vaishnavi Venkataraman takes a closer look as the ‘Pink Caravan’ kicks off its journey

It’s that time of the year! Every October, people from across the globe come together to show their support to those affected by breast cancer. A subject that requires discourse, according to the American Cancer Society, Breast Cancer makes up 25 percent of all new cancer diagnoses in women globally,

October has been given the moniker, Pinktober, and true to its name, the world is about to get a whole lot pink this time of the month.

As various brands roll out initiatives to create awareness and show their support, we throw a spotlight on ‘The Pink Caravan’, an initiative that urges UAE residents to be aware of Breast Cancer signs.

Read on as we trace the genesis behind the initiative, how you can contribute, and benefit from it.

What Is The Pink Caravan?

The Pink Caravan is a UAE-based initiative launched by Friends of Cancer Patients. FOCP is a non-profit organization founded in 1999 under the directives and patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients, International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC and Patron of the Global NCD Alliance Forum.

The initiative calls out public and private sector organizations to unite to spread awareness and encourage early detection of breast cancer ahead of international Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

According to the World Health Organization, Breast Cancer is the most common form of cancer as of 2021, accounting for 12 percent of annual cases worldwide. For over ten years now, Pink Caravan has worked on targeted efforts in raising awareness, offering free screening, and getting government and businesses to sponsor activities to promote breast health in the UAE.

In 2021, Pink Caravan delivered over 2,197 clinical breast examinations, 1,019 mammograms, and 208 ultrasound tests.

Annual Pink Caravan ride across the Emirates
Annual Pink Caravan ride across the Emirates

How Does It Work?

The Pink Caravan launched a state-of-the-art Mobile Medical Clinic in 2018 to propel the campaign’s efforts within the UAE and offer free checkups to the women in the region. The independent medical facility licensed by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) is available to individuals throughout the year and can screen 40 individuals a day.

Since the beginning of this year, the Pink Caravan Medical Mobile Clinic has traveled across the UAE spreading breast and cervical cancer awareness covering key locations in Al Rahmaniyah, Al Sieyouh, Wasit, Muowaileh, Kaldeyah, Khorfakkan, Dibba Al Hisn, Sharjah International Airport, and Al Majaz Waterfront. It brings services to the doorstep including mammograms, breast examination, ultrasound, and pap tests.

Lend A Helping Hand

There are many ways in which you can get involved with Pink Caravan’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month activations. Pink Caravan conducts regular public and private events ahead of International Breast Cancer month. In addition, you can sign up for their Corporate Wellness Day initiative that gives you access to a 30-minute lecture, clinical examinations, and mammogram vouchers. However, this requires prior booking as the slots tend to fill in fast.

Their state-of-the-art Medical Mobile Clinic can also be booked or sponsored to provide free breast and cervical cancer screenings to members of the community. More information can be found in the Pink Caravan Awareness Day Booking Form.

While breast cancer is a well-known topic, very few women come forward or take the time to get tested. Invariably, we tend to sideline it due to sheer negligence or on the grounds of being too busy. But with the mobile screening center coming to our doorsteps, there can be no excuse!

Clinical examination
Clinical examination

Other Organizations and Their Initiatives

Showcasing their support for the noble cause, several Dubai hotels are raising funds for Al Jalila Foundation’s #PINKTober campaign.

La Ville Hotel & Suites CITY WALK, Autograph Collection is going ALL PINK starting 1st October 2022. Offering irresistible pampering amenities and slick Downtown Dubai views, La Ville has collaborated with Al Jalila Foundation in support of the vital cause. The hotel will donate all profits generated in October to Al Jalila Foundation.

Also collaborating with Al Jalila Foundation is W Dubai-The Palm. Throughout October, the hotel’s stunning venues will offer a variety of unmissable special events and tempting offers. In addition, a portion of proceeds will be donated to the #pinktober campaign, in collaboration with the Al Jalila Foundation’s ‘Brest Friends’ program, which provides vital support to survivors and patients.

Supporting the fantastic cause, Lapita, Dubai Parks, and Resorts, Autograph Collection has launched a ‘Pinktober Staycation’. The one-of-a-kind staycation runs all through October and spells luxury. Guests can enjoy an overnight stay in a beautifully adorned, Pinktober-themed Deluxe Room, along with a delicious buffet breakfast in the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant Kalea. Fifty percent of the room rate will be donated to the Al Jalila Foundation.

In addition, guests can also visit any one of the theme parks – Legoland, Motiongate, Bollywood Parks, or Legoland Waterpark with a single entry. A 60-minute selected spa treatment at The Ola Spa is also part of the luxury package which starts at AED 1132.

Besides, Lapita’s Lobby Lounge, Palama will serve a host of pink mocktails and pastries throughout October. A percentage of these profits will be donated to the Al Jalila Foundation.

And, that’s not all! Fitness freaks now have a chance to do their bit in support of Breast Cancer. Abu Dhabi’s Yas indoor mall has launched a ‘Pink Run’ to support breast cancer. Runners will come together on 1st October to participate in the Indoor Pink Run, aiming to raise awareness about the importance of regular checkups and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Participants can pick from various distances, including 2.5 kilometers, five kilometers, and 10 kilometers, so they can go head-to-head with their friends and family.

Everyone participating in the Yas Mall Indoor Pink Run will receive a bespoke Breast Cancer Awareness medal, access to the event’s photo album with free downloads, and even a finisher’s certificate. Besides, AED 10 per paid entry will be donated to Brest Friends Foundation, UAE’s first breast cancer support group, in partnership with Al Jalila Foundation.

It is heart-warming to see such initiatives which look beyond success and profit and work towards a cause. No better time to have this conversation!

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