Participants pose for a group photo. The Friends of Cancer Patients seek to empower communities across the region.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
In line with recognising World Cancer Day which falls on the 4th of February this year, and the 9th Gulf Week for Cancer Awareness, happening from Feb.1-7, the UAE has seen a surge in efforts to educate and empower communities across the region.
As a leading advocate for cancer awareness and support, Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) played an instrumental role in this important week, with multiple initiatives that reinforce efforts to raise awareness and support patients, survivors and their families.
In collaboration with the Gulf Federation for Cancer Control (GFFCC) under the theme “We Are With You”, FOCP launched a series of impactful initiatives throughout the week.
This included a powerful social media campaign that resonated with audiences across the Gulf region, emphasising the importance of solidarity and support for those battling cancer.
Cycling for a cause
FOCP joined forces with Rixos Marina Abu Dhabi to host the “RideWithRixos” event on the 4th of Feb where 100 cyclists gathered at the Marina Corniche on the morning of World Cancer Day for a 20-kilometre community ride, supporting the cause. The event was successful in promoting physical activity and wellbeing while also raising funds to be used by FOCP for the important work they do.
Beyond the charity ride, FOCP also offered free breast cancer screenings at the Rixos Marina, Abu Dhabi promoting early detection and empowering individuals to take charge of their health.
Kindling hope through FOCP's fundraising initiatives
To spread their message of hope and support further, FOCP launched a fundraising initiative on the YallaGive platform. The campaign encourages individuals and communities to donate directly or alternatively create their own fundraising efforts on the platform. Those wanting to support this worthy initiative can do so at https://yallagive.com/en/campaign/Take-Action-for-World-Cancer-Day-Friends-of-Cancer-Patients-93782.
In an effort to uplift cancer patients and survivors FOCP collaborated with Dubai Municipality and Dubai Safari Park to provide a unique experience and a day filled with enjoyment amidst the beautiful weather and natural surroundings of the safari. The tour served as a positive and stress-reducing experience for all that attended, providing survivors with a day of joy and patients with a much-appreciated break from their treatment journey.
Mediclinic Hospital visit
FOCP, in collaboration with NAOS Middle East Cosmetics Trading LLC, organised a heartwarming visit to children affected by cancer at Mediclinic Hospital in Dubai. The NAOS team generously presented gifts to the children, spending quality time engaging in play. This visit aimed to create a positive and uplifting environment for the children and their caregivers, recognising the importance of a positive outlook in enhancing the effectiveness of their treatment.
Engaging panel discussions:
FOCP participated in a screening and diagnostic panel session as part of the UAE-UK Business Council's one-day knowledge-sharing summit on Cancer Care at Conrad Hotel, held on February 1st. The session focused on sharing insights and expertise in the field of cancer care, contributing to the collaborative efforts between the UAE and the UK in combating cancer.
In another panel discussion held at the Dubai Chambers in collaboration with Dubai Business Women Council, FOCP engaged in an open discussion about cancer and childhood cancer which aimed to raise awareness and provide valuable insights into the challenges and advancements in cancer care, encouraging dialogue and understanding within the community.
FOCP also commemorated the launch of the book “Cancer Care in the United Arab Emirates” at a panel discussion titled “Closing the Care Gap.” In the book, FOCP provided a chapter titled "NGO's Role in Cancer Care." which showcased FOCP’s role in serving the community, and emphasising the importance of non-governmental organisations in the comprehensive care of cancer patients.
Illuminating awareness at the Sharjah Light Festival and House of Wisdom
FOCP has also collaborated with the Sharjah Light Festival, The House of Wisdom and Sharjah Archeology Museum to illuminate the iconic hub of knowledge and culture in purple, symbolising cancer awareness. This visually striking display aimed to draw attention to the cause and promote FOCP alongside the Gulf Week for Cancer Awareness.
FOCP's dedication to supporting cancer patients and advocating for awareness makes them a true community champion. Their impactful activities during World Cancer Day and Gulf Cancer Week demonstrate their mission and resolve to make a difference in people's lives.
The campaign aims to encourage individuals from all walks of life to contribute to the fight against cancer and ease the economic distress faced by patients.
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