FIVE THOUSAND pink-shirted men and women transformed the Garrison Savannah into a hub of breast cancer awareness as the most popular event on the Cancer Society’s Breast Screening Programme came off yesterday.
The CIBC FirstCaribbean Walk For The Cure event 2014 was so well patronised, said office manager and the coordinator of the walk, Monique Hinds, that the Cancer Society ran out of shirts, well before yesterday’s 4 p.m. 5K event.
“We estimated we sold around 5 000 shirts this year so technically it makes this walk the biggest walk ever held in Barbados. It goes to show how the Barbadian public feels about breast cancer in terms of knowing someone and being aware of the importance of mammograms,” she said. As a result of the overwhelming response, the Cancer Society found itself turning back would-be runners from last Thursday.
Hinds said this year’s numbers were almost double the 2 700 people who took in the 2013 event.
“If we doubled in 18 months, imagine what could happen next year. I think this walk could reach 10 000 and once corporate Barbados comes back and supports us, there is no limit to what could happen.”
She said they had seen an increase in the numbers of men taking part in the event and they were not afraid to be seen in the pink shirts.
One of the walkers, Fern Brathwaite, who completed the walk in just over an hour and 40 minutes, was pleased with the route which took her and fellow walkers from the Garrison to Dalkeith, across Culloden Road, down to Fairchild Street, Bay Street and back to the Garrison Savannah.
“I think this cancer walk was better and bigger than the last one – a lot more people and more activity. We’re striving hard for the cancer cure,” she said.
She said she was walking for a mother and a daughter, as well as for a couple friends.
“This walk is for them and the others. Just keep fighting. It’s worth it.”
The first runner home was Raheem Skinner who was followed by Jerome Blackett, while the first female runner was Maleen Lange.
The top three walkers were Anderson Maynard, Earl Heallis and Don Gittens, while the top female walkers were Matrid Griffith and Sheffean Walcott.