CHARLESTOWN, Nevis -– On Saturday Oct. 20, as Pink Lily Cancer Care celebrates its 10th anniversary, it will hold its 11th charity walk under the theme ‘Celebrate Life.’ The Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis is among a growing number of corporate citizens and individuals partnering with the Nevis-based cancer care group.
“We at the Development Bank of St. Kitts and Nevis firmly believe that a nation’s health is a nation’s wealth, and what the selfless members of Pink Lily Cancer Care are doing is highly commendable,” said Ms. Hyacinth Pemberton, Manager for the Nevis Branch. “The education they offer to the general public has helped many get treated at very early stages or even avoid getting cancer. We cannot overemphasise the importance of this walk that will be held on Saturday Oct. 20 to raise funds for the organisation’s noble outreach activities.”
Ms. Pemberton made the comments on Oct. 11, in her office with Ms. Tracy Parris, Pink Lily’s Cancer Support Coordinator, and Mrs. Cindy Freeman, the organisation’s Cancer Survivor Support Assistant. The Pink Lily Cancer Care officials came to collect the bank’s contribution to support the fund raising walk. The walk will begin at 6:00 a.m. at Chicken Stone in Gingerland. Participants will walk along the Island Main Road, and in Charlestown walk around Samuel Hunkins Drive and continue to Pinney’s Beach.
According to Ms. Parris, the organisation was launched on February 9, 2008 as Pink Lily Breast Cancer Care at the Old Manor Hotel in Gingerland Nevis, after her sister Mrs. Lea Parris-Cambridge and her mother Mrs. Mary Parris were diagnosed with breast cancer within two weeks of each other. It has since been renamed Pink Lily Cancer Care, with the mandate to assist men and women with all forms of cancer.
“This is actually our eleventh walk because during our first year we had two walks,” explained Ms. Parris. This one is the big one. Our aim is not just to walk to raise funds that we really need, because without funds we cannot help as much as we would like, but the walk is to celebrate life, remembering our loved ones who have passed, remembering the ones that have survived and the ones that are still fighting.”
She praised cancer survivors Mrs. Lea Parris-Cambridge, Dr. Jessica Bardalis, Mrs. Cindy Freeman and other cancer survivors saying “these women are fighters. They are women of hope to me. They inspire a lot of people, not just women, inspire others because, despite what they are going through, they try to stay as strong as possible. They stay strong, and they give people hope.”
T-shirts for the walk are available at $50 for ages 12 and above and $40 for youth under 12 years old. There will be prizes at the end of the walk at Pinney’s Beach, including for the oldest man, the oldest woman and the youngest child and other random prizes. A nutritious breakfast will be served to all the participants.
“The Development Bank has actually been a supporter of Pink Lily for many years now,” Ms. Parris noted. “They always come on board, support us and make a donation. Without donations, we cannot function, so I want to say ‘thank you’ to Development Bank and all the other people that supported us over the years. If they did not believe in us, they won’t support us.”
Mrs. Freeman noted that she joined the organisation in the year it was formed, but developed cancer in 2009. She explained that Parris-Cambridge has been a tower of strength for her as she was fully unprepared about what to expect while undergoing chemotherapy.
“I am asking everyone to come and walk with us,” Mrs.. Freeman concluded. “We need the support, we need the help, and we need donations. We are a non-profit organisation, we do not have money, so we need the help with the money. We give back to patients who do not have money. Pink Lily has helped me financially, and many others who can’t afford a treatment, so we give back to people. We also provide cancer literature to health centres.”