BELIZE CITY, Mon. Oct. 26, 2015–Heather Reneau, Senior Administrator of the Belize Cancer Society told Amandala that the society has just been the recipient of some much needed funds. On October 23, a cheque was presented to them for over $22,000. The money will be used to assist children suffering from cancer.
Reneau explained that the money was raised by the raffling of a plot of land at $50 a ticket earlier this year. The proceeds of the raffle, which was conducted by the Children’s First and Last Foundation (CFAL), were donated to the society to aid in the financing of medical care for children affected by cancer including chemotherapy, radiation, imaging and testing.
“We are seeing a rise in childhood cancers and the more devastating ones are lymphomas and leukemia. Once a child is diagnosed with cancer, the child is unable to get treated in Belize, so for their initial work- up and first treatment, they need to travel abroad. We either send them to Merida or Guatemala to get a full workup and first chemotherapy after which we are able to pass them over to the Dangriga Cancer Center,” Reneau explained. Reneau said that at the moment, the Belize Cancer Society is providing financial support to four children.
Reneau extended an invitation to anyone who suspects that their child has cancer to visit the Belize Cancer Society’s office on Mercy Lane or send an email to [email protected] She encourages parents to keep an eye on their children and look out for any abnormalities in their behavior or physical condition, and to have them get regular checkups.
This month is Cancer Month, Reneau said. On Thursday, October 22, the Belize Cancer Society held a candlelight vigil at which Sean Swarner, a world-renowned mountain climber, who has climbed some of the highest mountains in the seven continents of the world, and who is also a motivational speaker and third-time cancer survivor, shared his testimony to encourage those suffering with cancer that there is hope.
Also on Saturday, October 24, the Cayo branch of the Belize Cancer Society held its annual cancer walk at 5 a.m. in the morning. Flora Usher of the Belize Cancer Society, Cayo Branch, said that the walk started from the Running W Meat building in Central Farm Village and it ended two hours later at the Macal River Park in San Ignacio.
Usher added that they had at least 600 participants. While they haven’t finishing tallying the donations, she estimates that over $10,000 was raised.