Statistics have confirmed that every 3 minutes a woman is diagnosed with Breast Cancer worldwide. And according to the International Breast Cancer Research Foundation, 1.5 million new individuals will be diagnosed with breast cancer globally in 2010 alone.

Alarming figures no doubt, yet a disease that most women (and men) in the Middle East are not taking seriously enough.

Breast Cancer Awareness month has been assigned to October; permitting worldwide campaigns directed towards the betterment of women’s health. The iconic pink ribbon is brandished by many a woman, man and child; but how many of us have actually taken the initiative to either help raise awareness or actually contribute towards the cause?

Here in the Emirates, it is the shopping mall BurJuman’s campaign that takes centre stage. Titled Safe & Sound, and branded with it’s iconic pink-ribbon emblem, this year marks the 14th consecutive edition of this extremely successful awareness programme.

Known most fondly for it’s much-anticipated Pink Walkathon, the Safe & Sound campaign has scheduled a line-up of events spanning the entire month of October; all in aid of rallying the community to support the cause and slogan “Early Detection Helps Save Lives.”

Kicking off the campaign was the Pink Book Sale which took place last Friday within the vicinity of the mall. This second-hand book sale gave UAE bibliophiles the chance to nab some great deals from a diverse selection of books, and with all proceeds directed towards free mammograms for under-privileged women, they got to do their bit for the community as well.

The Pink Survivor Fashion Show is next on the agenda, and is scheduled for the 15th of this month; a landmark event where all models are strictly breast-cancer survivors, and get to strut the latest trends on this catwalk with a cause.

The Free Mammogram Camp follows the week after as an initiative to provide free mammograms to under privileged women.  Though most doctors recommend an annual mammogram for all women over 40, the procedure can be a costly one to most.

So on the 22nd of October, the programme gives UAE residents the chance to either nominate a deserving woman or even register oneself for one of 2000 free mammograms.  Selected candidates will then be awarded a voucher which can be redeemed for a free mammogram at their partner-hospital.

The grand finale’ of this month-long programme will be none other than the campaign’s signature event – The Pink Walkathon.

With a participation of over 8,000 troopers last year, this much-anticipated 3.6km walk is an annual event attended by all walks (pun intended) of the UAE community.  With lots of fun activities planned during and after this non-competitive trek, and all proceeds from the Dhs 50 (for adults) and Dhs.30 (for children aged 8-12) registration fees directed towards the cause, taking a walk never felt this good!

Pre-registration opens on the 15th of October and on-site registration will take place an hour before the walk kicks off at 8am on Friday the 29th of October.

So get your calendars out and start marking! Because there’s more to be done this year than just donning that pink ribbon.

For more information on the campaign and any of it’s activities, visit for details.


By: Shaahima Fahim

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