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vendredi 16 mars 2018

JOAN WILLIAMS A WELL KNOWN JAMAICAN PERSONALITY REFLECTS ON RELAY FOR LIFE: A CANCER AWARENESS RAISING EVENT IN WHICH MY SISTER JACKIE AND HER HUSBAND JOSPEH ARE DEEPLY INVOLVED

Cancer is no longer a death sentence

Dr. Grace Wang  (L)  poses with six-time survivor Jackie
On Saturday 10th March, I got a great opportunity to see close up the great work being done by the cancer society, survivors, their doctors, nurses, and caregivers, to totally abolish the idea that this disease is a death sentence.

 As one who has long subscribed to that theory, my eyes were opened when I  met a lady who has so far survived and lived a fairly normal life for fifty-one years since her operation. 

Further reinforcement came from a long-time friend Jackie Simmons with whom I had lost contact, but who now brought me up to date on her own victory over six different cancer surgeries over an eighteen year period. These ranged from breast to stage four "inoperable" lung cancer in 2009 when she was given seven months to live. 

Jackie credits her survival to the loving care of Dr. Wang and Dr. Sudah Yehuda Shaheb.

 Dr. Wang is a world-famous Oncologist at the Miami Cancer Institute who Jackie said has for decades, gone way beyond the call of duty to ensure not only her survival but also that of the hundreds of the patients whose care she had responsibility for.

 Dr. Shaheb an Australian medical doctor and anthropologist of Jewish  descent, is a professor of medicine at the University of Havana, who regards an appropriate diet as the perfect cure for all diseases. He is on retainer from several Native American tribes who have become susceptible to numerous diseases because they have moved away from the kinds of foods which had nourished their bodies for centuries. Jackie credits him with having also saved her life after her lung surgery, by redirecting her to consume the foods that are compatible with her particular gene pool.

After only a few hours of assisting in the Jamaican booth at the event and listening to Dr. Wang, I am now totally convinced that most people unnecessarily over-react and do themselves serious psychological damage, from the very moment they get the dreaded prognosis, thus defeating or retarding their own recovery, simply because they ignore or are ignorant of the exciting advances being made in treatment and the current  phenomenal survival rates.


I must admit though that my own ignorance about the disease is partly because I have never really had close family affected, apart from an aunt who whose death certificate said death from pancreatic cancer although she was over ninety years old and had already contracted several different illnesses during a prolonged period.
 Saturday I learned about many aspects of the disease, the research and up to date developments at this Relay for Life, held at the Baptist Hospital in Kendall, Florida. 

Relay for life is held worldwide to raise funds for cancer research and I also gathered from the address by Dr. Wang, that the Cancer Society of the USA had funded forty-one
scientists who were awarded Nobel Prizes for cancer research. She also outlined some of the latest revolutionary and life-saving drugs which are now available as a result of experiments facilitated by funds raised at events such as Relay for Life.

At this event Jamaica featured large, under the leadership of both Jackie Simmons, a former Jamaica Tourist Board executive and Dr, Wang herself, along with strong support from volunteers, both Jamaicans and others, drawn from survivors and friends. 

Our booth was the largest and the most beautifully decorated with flags and banners, some hand painted and donated by friends and well-wishers and of the $250,000 overall target set for the day, we raised a whopping $68,000!

While a large bulk of the funds came from donations and the silent auction, our booth also buzzed all day as patrons flocked to buy our world famous beef, chicken and vegetable patties, rock cakes, Tortuga Rum cake, banana chips, gizzada etc. Another best seller was a large selection of orchids.
Jackie leads the 16 and over batch of survivors
In the afternoon, survivors (you are considered a survivor if your cancer is in remission for five years or more) medical personnel and other caregivers walked silently around the hospital grounds.

The survivors were grouped by the number of years they had survived ..... five years and over, 11 years and over, 16 years and over followed by a batch that had survived less than five years so far.

This while all the lights were dimmed but the surroundings glowed with candles lit in memory of those who had passed.
Candles honoring survivors light up the surrounding

For me personally, it was an extremely educational yet enjoyable day.

A NOTE FROM DR SUDAH YEHUDA
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS TO OTHERS WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN THIS INFORMATION. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE TO AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY/RELAY FOR LIFE/TEAM JAMAICA (ANY AMOUNT WOULD BE HELPFUL FOR RESEARCH)
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY FEDERAL TAX ID #13-1788491 8095 NW 12 STREET, SUITE 200, DORAL, FLORIDA 33126  ATTN: RELAY FOR LIFE OF EAST KENDALL/TEAM JAMAICA