NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Eight cancer organizations across The Bahamas are now better able to provide quality care and counseling to cancer patients and their families with the $70,000 raised from CIBC FirstCaribbean’s 2019 Walk for the Cure 2019.
According to a statement yesterday, ports, medicine and needles will be procured, and housing and transportation continuously provided for patients from various islands.
The funds raised were donated to Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group, the Cancer Society of The Bahamas, Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group of Grand Bahama, the Cancer Societies of Abaco, Eleuthera and Grand Bahama, and the Cancer Association of Grand Bahama.
For the last eight years, both the Cancer Society of The Bahamas and Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group have been beneficiaries of funds raised from the walk.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however, they describe this year’s donation as “very timely”.
According to Lovern Wildgoose, Cancer Society of The Bahamas Director, the facility’s 10 rooms have been filled for the past five to six months.
Wildgoos said the organization incurs bills of up to $45,000 a month while the organization has been forced to cancel all of its fundraising events.
“We only have Family Island patients coming in at this time while they’re doing their treatments,” she said.
“They stay free of charge and we have to bear the costs. Sponsors, thank you, because without you this would not happen.”
Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group said that they are also impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of travel restrictions, the organization has had an influx of individuals across the country asking for ports and assistance with medical tests.
“Sometimes we forget that we have individuals on the islands who also need assistance, so you being able to spread this contribution around is very timely,” said Shantelle Cox-Hutchinson, Sister Sister Support Group Treasurer.
“We thank you, sponsors, for continued support because it goes a very long way.”
Marie Rodland-Allen, CIBC FirstCaribbean’s Managing Director noted the bank has added Sister Sister Support Group of Abaco to its list of recipients and increased the amount donated to the organizations on Abaco and Grand Bahama as part of its promise to make a bigger impact in the islands affected by Hurricane Dorian.
Walk for The Cure 2019 Gold Sponsor, Bahamas Power and Light (BPL), donated $3,250 to the fundraiser last year.
BPL Director of Communications, Quincy Parker, said the power company counted it a privilege to partner with the organization.
“We at BPL know a thing or two about taking on seemingly insurmountable challenges, and we know how indispensable partners are in such lofty endeavors,” Parker said.
“To the organizations that benefit from this work: we are working for you. We thank you for the opportunity to partner with you to improve outcomes for our country and our citizens. To our cosponsors, thank you for laboring in the field with us; we are proud to work alongside such bright lights as you,” he added.
Gia Sands, senior associate at McKinney Bancroft & Hughes said: “The fight against cancer is one that we at McKinney hold close to our hearts, as the disease has impacted members of our own family.”
McKinney Bancroft & Hughes is a silver sponsor.
Sands continued: “Our firm is committed to supporting our community in the fight to find the cure for this disease and we are committed to our continued sponsorship of the Walk for the Cure. We commend FirstCaribbean on another successful Walk for the Cure and look forward to future partnerships.”
Other Silver Sponsors for Walk for the Cure 2019 included: Restaurant Bahamas, Colina, Graham Thompson, ALIV, Commonwealth Brewery, and Doctor’s Hospital. Bronze Sponsors comprised of Lyford Cay Club, Café Channing Noel, BAF Financial, Animal Medical Group, Wemco, Airborne Freight, Baha Mar, Avis, Atlantic Medical, New Oriental Cleaners, Quality Home Centre, and Bamboo Shack.
While aware of the financial climate, CIBC FirstCaribbean expressed that they also acknowledge that the fight against cancer must continue, and will carry on its Walk for the Cure fundraising efforts this year.