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Miss Seychelles…Another World participates in cancer march

Miss Seychelles…Another World participates in cancer march ( “I love the life God has given me,” states Miss Seychelles…Another World Camilla Estico, on her Facebook profile.

But for some, the sanctity of life has become a daily battle. They do not know if they will get to live another year, and the especially painful thought of leaving loved ones behind is constantly at the back of their minds.

Such is the plight of the cancer patients in Seychelles, for whom a march was organized on Wednesday, February 4, commemorating World Cancer Day. The 2015 “Not Beyond Us” theme is particularly fitting, because everybody knows somebody who is suffering or has lost their battle with cancer.

“We should make the most of information available to us, to educate ourselves about cancer and learn to detect the signs early. Because when cancer is detected early, then you stand a better chance to beat the disease or at least prolong your life. The theme is also appropriate for all those concerned with the treatment of cancer as they have a responsibility to ensure that they are giving the best of care. And as for those who are in their final stages, we need to comfort and support them until they take their last breath,” said Josie Michaud-Payet of the Seychelles Cancer Concern Association in her opening speech outside the Mont Fleuri Hospital.

After a brief prayer by Archbishop French Chang-Him, the public flocked down Francis Rachel Street in great numbers, a large portion of them honoring the “Seychelles Cancer Concern Association’s” appeal for them to wear white - white being a color symbolic of peace and calm, comfort and hope, protection and encouragement.

“In 2014 alone, 182 new cases were detected, 94 of which were female and 88 male. The most common forms of cancer amongst women are breast and cervical cancer. As for the men, they suffer mostly from prostate and oral cancer, with colorectal cancer being a common denominator amongst both sexes. As innocent as they are, children are not spared, and they are plagued by leukemia, bone, and brain cancer,” stated Anne Finesse, the Senior Health Information Assistant working with the Ministry of Health.

Prostate cancer is rated fourth on Seychelles’ top 50 cases of death and fourth on the world rankings, according to the world life expectancy website.

Miss Seychelles…Another World Camilla Estico, along with Beryl Matatiken, the Seychelles Tourism Board’s Events&Conferencing Manager, were present to lend their support. Camilla’s participation in the march, highlights the fact that 21st century beauty pageants no longer focus solely on identifying girls with a Barbie-doll figure but rather about delivering beauty with a purpose, encouraging winners from around the globe to get involved in charitable projects and events. “I hope that this will raise awareness, because cancer is not just an issue in Seychelles but worldwide. I am more than happy to be present at any event relating to the Ministry of Health, because this falls under the same healthy living umbrella,” stated Camilla.

The march ended with a mass at the St. Paul’s Cathedral. This walk served as a good reminder that indeed life is very precious. A reminder that cancer’s long arms can grab hold of anyone, and just like with a game of Bingo, we do not know whose number will come up next - it may be yours or a dear friend or brother. So better play it safe, and do your yearly tests for early detection. And if you already have it, fight gallantly and fight hard like a brave soldier.


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