Photo: President of Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation Mary Armstrong (seated center);Minister of Health Eugene Hamilton (seated second from right) next to ICWI Country Manager Nordia Dobbs; the foundation’s public relation officer Dr. Marcus Natta (standing second from left) as well as other foundation members and another ICWI representative (standing second from right) pose for a photo following the launch event (Spokesman Snap)

By: Precious Mills

BASSETERRE, St.Kitts (Wednesday 3rd October 2018) – The Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation on Monday 1st October held a media launch event for breast cancer awareness month in spotlighting one of its major annual activities- ‘Pink Walk to find a cure’.

The ceremony, held at the Ocean Terrance Inn located at Fortlands in Basseterre, also saw the relaunch of the Road Angel Policy Campaign by the title sponsor of the Pink Walk- the Insurance Company of the West Indies (ICWI) geared towards assisting with a fixed fundraising arrangement.

President of Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation Mary Armstrong said the group was birthed in 2009, “formed from the loss of a few girlfriends who were diagnosed with breast cancer and did not make it shortly after they were diagnosed.”

She went on to say that the organisation is made of 14 members who are dedicated and committed to help the citizens of St.Kitts and Nevis with financial assistance to men and women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Breast cancer is what our organisation started as but as the years grew we’ve branched out from breast cancer to other cancers. Reason being that so many people become diagnosed with cancer and we decided that if you have someone who shows up at your doorstep and asks for help do you say ‘No, we’re just for breast cancer foundation’ or do you at least try and help? So we’re still a breast cancer foundation but we try to help everyone,” Armstrong shared.

According to her, to date the foundation has given out $20,500 and counting in financial assistance.

“Right now we have at least three persons in waiting for assistance which we will be giving shortly and the number are growing because I guess everyone knows that cancer is on the rise very much so and it’s a very expensive disease.”

ICWI Country Manager Nordia Dobbs informed that the company intends on contributing a certain percentage to the foundation over a year’s period.

“As we thought of ways to celebrate our five decades of service, we looked not to the past but to the future. What better wat to make an impact on people’s lives, their futures than to help those who need it most?”

She highlighted that over 38 years ago company chairman Dennis Lalor established the first ever female motor policy and named it The Road Angel Policy.

“This policy was so unique and one of a kind; it recognised the safety conscious female drivers by offering discounts and special benefits found nowhere else,” she boasted.
Dubs explained that the policy took place when not a lot of women were driving.

“This policy quickly became one of the corner stones of the company’s success over the year and so this in our 50th year, we would like to give back to all road angels by relaunching this signature product and offering a donation to the foundation 5% of all road angel policies written between October 2018 and October 2019.”

As gathered, ICWI is a full service general insurance company serving over 100,000 customers in eight countries including St.Kitts-Nevis. It has been the title sponsor of the group’s annual charity walk for the past three years.
Minister of Health Eugene Hamilton talked about prevention as he outlined that lives are cut short too often because of cancer.

“Cancer does not discriminate. It strikes people of all races, all creeds, all colours, all positions; whether you’re poor or rich and so because of that we must all raise awareness of this disease outcome so that we can more easily prevent it.”

“Too much of our world is focused on treating it and saying they want to find a cure for it. Let’s focus on preventing it,” he added.

Hamilton further stated that diseases threatens individuals and families alike with bankruptcy and encouraged persons to lead a healthy lifestyles.

The Essence of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation’s annual pink charity walk dubbed ‘Socks and Shades’ is slated to take place on Saturday 27th October at 6am starting at the Caribbean Cinemas complex heading over to Frigate Bay.