Wednesday, 24 October 2007 9:40 AM

Fighting Women's Cancer a Challenge to the Nation

Combating the cancers that are routinely killing Solomon Islands women is one of the greatest challenges facing our nation.

Speaking at the Pink Ribbon fundraising dinner Monday night, Lady Alice Waena told guests of how many families have had to watch as their much loved wives, mothers, sisters and daughters bravely die, as a result of the usually unsuccessful detection and treatment of this terrible disease.

"There is much work to be done to equip the nation to fight such diseases as breast, cervical and cancer of the uterus which are now one of the biggest killers of women in Solomon Islands," she said.

Speaking as the patron of Pink Ribbon Day, Lady Waena thanked RAMSI for sponsoring Solomon Islands first ever Pink Ribbon activities on Monday.

These were modelled on the Pink Ribbon Days now held in many parts of the world on 22 October each year to raise funds and awareness for fighting women cancers.

"For the Solomon Islands families, women's cancer is something that has certainly brought about a lot of heartache and pain."

"On behalf of the women of this nation, may I sincerely thank Commander Denis McDermott and RAMSI, for initiating this fundraising drive."

Welcoming the more than 300 guests, Commander of RAMSI's Participating Police Force, Denis McDermott, thanked everyone for their support for this very important initiative.

"Everyone has been touched at some stage in their life by cancer," he said. "I had a mother die at 47 years of age from cancer and nephew die at 21."

"This initiative is like a new baby. What is the first thing a new baby does? It takes a breath. Tonight is the first breath of this initiative to fight cancer in this country."

Honiara business community and many individuals threw their support behind the Pink Ribbon Day Dinner held at the Sea King Restaurant.

Special acts from Australia including a didgeridoo player and magician were used to entertain the guests including 30 Solomon Island women who were invited as guests of honour in recognition of the contribution they are making to Solomon Islands.

All money raised is being put towards combating cancer in the women of Solomon Islands.

Lady Waena said she hoped that the night would be the beginning of many more Pink Ribbon Days, in Solomon Islands.

"It is not just my dream, but the dream of many of us, that in years to come, we should be able to look back and celebrate with the mothers, wives, sisters and daughters, who have been able to be diagnosed early, and thus successfully treated, instead of being cut down by this terrible disease."

Also present at the dinner were Governor General Nathanial Waena, Minister of Health, Honourable Clay Forau and Mrs Forau, Clerk to Parliament, Taeasi Sanga, Premier Guadalcanal, Joash Salani, and Secretary to the Prime Minister, Ruth Liloqula.

Other guests included the Police Commissioner Jahir Khan and Special Envoy to RAMSI, Michael Maina.

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