It is a new year which of course means challenges…challenges we can overcome together and later stand back and admire the miracles we lived as one. Pink Trees for Pauline will, like in 2013, strive to promote quality of life for cancer patients and their families during and after cancer. Target 5 of the World Cancer Declaration: Reduce stigma and dispel myths about cancer will be the focus of World Cancer Day 2014 (4 February 2014) under the tagline “Debunk the myths”. These myths will only be dispelled if we work vehemently towards unveiling them as just myths and if we advocate the truth.
Probably the most obvious myth in our cancer communities is “I don’t have the right to cancer care”. John F Kennedy said “The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic.” The challenge will be to reach as many as possible communities, especially in the rural areas to communicate the facts about cancer. That will only be the first step, and the simple one. The most important message about cancer is communicated through our actions. By creating awareness about cancer and raising funds to support cancer communities we commit to being there where we are needed most. We must get the message across that all people have the right to access to cancer care.
During the Pink Trees for Pauline drive in 2013 we witnessed miracles every day…miracles of volunteers working fervently to create awareness wrapping thousands of trees in pink along kilometres of roads all across South Africa and Namibia. People from all walks of life worked together with one objective in mind – to help people in need in their cancer communities in their own towns.
Pink Trees for Pauline also played a substantial role in empowering communities to take care of their own. And with what people came to learn about themselves and each other during the 2013 drive they will be able to impart knowledge about cancer in order to dispel myths. The message Pink Trees for Pauline will carry forward into 2014 is still one of Love, Care, Acceptance, Calm and Hope.
In 2013 some 55 towns across South Africa and Namibia embraced the initiative and stunned cancer communities with their enormous hearts. In 2014 more than 100 towns have already committed to help cover South Africa and Namibia in pink! This means double the number of feet, hands and hearts working as one to create awareness and raise funds to support cancer communities and their families. This means that maybe the next time when a scared seven year old boy has to go for chemotherapy 500km away from home his mother will be able to travel with him. This means that in future ‘the right to access to cancer treatment” will mean that ‘treatment’ will include a loved one…not going on this journey alone.
Charlotte Lunsford said “We don’t always know whose lives we touched and made better for our having cared, because actions can sometimes have unforeseen ramifications. What’s important is that you do care and you act.” May 2014 be the year in which we care more and act with greater impact!