His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, launched the Pink Caravan’s Ride 2016 yesterday (Monday) at the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club. The 2016 Ride, under the theme “Soldiers of Pink Hope” thatwill run until March 17, aiming to enhance the community awareness about breast cancer, the importance of its early detection, and toofferfree breast cancer screenings for men and women across the country during the 10 days of the ride.In his keynote speech, Sheikh Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi, confirmed that the UAE will always be the land of hope and tender, praising the great humanitarian role of the “Friends of Cancer Patients” organisation, established in 1999, and their various initiatives, particularly The Pink Caravan, that have widely contributed to spread hope and awareness.
His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi, added: “today the Soldiers of Pink Hope are setting off on the Pink Caravan sixth’s march, riding all over the UAE, calling everyone to be checked up. Let’s support them by repeating the same call, as it means hope in life”.His Highness thanked the members of Friends of Cancer Patients society and the members of the Pink Caravan initiative, led by Her Highness SheikhaJawaherBint Mohammed Al Qasimi, who has devoted her effort, time and money to make the hope of life. He ended his speech by saying: “Let us cooperate together in spreading the noble message of the Pink Caravan.”HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan signed an agreement to buy and equip a mobile clinic, with the presence of HE AmeeraBinKaram, Founding Member and President of FoCP's Board of Trustees and Chairperson of the Pink Caravan's Higher Steering Committee, André Freeman, Managing Partner of IIN Healthcare Company. The equipped mobile clinic will be sent to the University Hospital-Sharjah, UHS, which will manage its operation, in cooperation with the Friends of Cancer Patients and GustaveRoussy Institute.
The launching ceremony was attended by a number of prominent figures, including Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation, Dr. Cary Adams, Chief Executive of the International Cancer Control Union,Katie Dain, Executive Director of the Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) Alliance, HE AmeeraBinKaram, Founding Member and President of FoCP's Board of Trustees and Chairperson of the Pink Caravan's Higher Organising Committee.The event was also attended by a number of prominent figures, heads and directors of government authorities and establishments in Sharjah and the UAE, representatives of partner and sponsoring bodies, Pink Caravan's ambassadors and media representatives.During the ceremony, a short documentary was shown, featuring achievements and milestones made by the Pink Caravan over the past five years.In her speech, HE AmeeraBinKaramconfirmed that the Pink Caravan initiative came out of this inherent society, which managed to exemplify the values of mutualism, solidarity and collaboration to the whole world. She added that Pink Caravan distinguish itself, as it comes from within the community to serve the same community as a heart-to-heart talkand totranslatea sign language that is only understood by people with sharp vision and kind hearts.
She added,"we watched in the documentary video some unforgettable moments of the Pink Caravan Ride during the past five years, accompanied by the inspirational words of wisdom by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, who said,"You guide others to do good deeds, and the good deed guider is same as good deeds actor." This is why the Pink Caravan's Higher Organizing Committee approved the theme for its sixth annual ride to be "Soldiers of Pink Hope" in recognition of all individuals and organizations who dedicated their time, effort and money to do good deeds and help in spreading the "Pink Hope" the UAE.About Pink Caravan past milestones in the past five years, BinKaram outlined that the Pink Caravan Rideto date, has travelled over 1,240 km across the seven emirates, with over 350 riders, 300 volunteers and 400 medical clinics offering breast cancer detection examinations for more than36,000 people, including 7,873 men. The Pink Caravan Ride also visited 87 schools delivering educational sessions and lectures about the importance of early detection of breast cancer.BinKaram extended her profound thanks to the UAE's wise leaders, and to His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for his ongoing support and generous patronage of the Pink Caravan, that double the enthusiasm and sky rocket the aspirations of the others.
For her outstanding efforts and rich contributions to the humanitarian work, BinKaramthanked Her Highness SheikhaJawaherbint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients Society (FoCP), International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC, who has become a symbol of good and hope for cancer patients. She added: “Her HighnessSheikhaJawaher holds highest post in humanitarian filed and obtained membership to many regional and international unions and agencies of her rich contributions to the humanitarian work.BinKaram announced the inauguration of the CareVan mobile clinicthat offers free breast cancer tests along the year, with the grace of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, the patron of the Pink Caravan. The state-of-art mobile mammography unit will be equipped with the latest technological devices in this field thanks to the Sharjah Media Corporation for its generous donation, and Sharjah Islamic Bank for its continuous support.
HE AmeeraBinKaram called on all community members to follow the Pink Caravan's news and updates via its pages on social media (ThePinkCaravan) and Pink Caravan’s app. She urged people to help convey its message of spreading awareness and hope, and to give the entire Emirati community an opportunity to benefit from free screenings offered by the Pink Caravan. BinKaram also called on people to donate and fundraise by setting up their own page on Pink Caravan's JustGiving page (https://www.justgiving.com/focp).For his part, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation,said, "This initiative enjoys the immense support and follow up of Her Highness SheikhaJawaher Al Qasimi, who wanted to spread awareness, the message of love and hope for a better and healthy future to all community members. The Pink Caravan became the focus of global attention due to its unprecedented achievements of promoting breast cancer awareness all around the globe.
He added: "We, at Sharjah Media Corporation, inspired by the knowledge and voluntary and humanitarian work and experience of both, His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, Her Highness SheikhaJawaherbint Mohammed Al Qasimi, we sought that our strategic partnership with the Pink Caravan to highlight all of its activities with a view to raise awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer as well as their offering of free screenings to all community segments in the UAE”.Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi reaffirmed the continuous support for the Pink Caravan by all radio stations and television channels that fall under the umbrella of the Sharjah Media Corporation, by expanding their coverage of this year's ride, to enable it to deliver its message to a wider audience in the UAE and beyond.
Dr. Cary Adams praised the immense efforts by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi in supporting the Pink Caravan, as well as his donation of Arabian horses from Al Qasimi Stables to support the initiative's efforts in spreading awareness about breast cancer and providing free examinations to people in the UAE.Adams emphasized that the patronage and support of Her Highness SheikhaJawaher Al Qasimi allowed the Pink Caravan to become this shining beacon of hope in the lives of those who are concerned about breast cancer. Her Highness's work within the realm of cancer is a source of inspiration to all doctors, nurses, horse riders and volunteers to work together against breast cancer. He noted that Islamic teachings and the UAE leadership's directives for the concept of “giving”, is great humanitarian work that must be emulated by the entire world.
Andre Freeman, Managing Partner of IIN Healthcare Company, which supervises the design of the mobile clinic, CareVan, illustrated that the mammography unit will be equipped with the latest devices for the early detection of breast cancer and other related tests. He confirmed that the mammography unit will provide free screenings throughout the year in various parts of the UAE.At the end of the ceremony, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan gave the go-ahead signal for the kick off the Pink Caravan Ride, which started its 10-day journey from the Sharjah Equestrian and Racing Club, and stopped at Al Dhaid Hospital, at 4:30pm, after traveling 16, 76 km.On the second day, March 08, the riders will move from Al Dhaid Hospital at 9amto reach their stop at Masafi Hospital at 4:30pm, traveling 21.5km.
On day 3, Wednesday, March 09, the horseback expedition will flag off from City Centre Fujairah at 9am, heading to Khorfakkanarriving at Oceanic Khorfakkan Resort at 4:30pm, cutting 22.8 km.Prior to the kick off, the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) announced that it will allocate one of the tour buses of the City Sightseeing Sharjah, which was launched in collaboration with the City Sightseeing Worldwide, the world's leading open top bus tour operator, for the Pink Caravan. The proceeds of the tour bus for a whole month will go to the Pink Caravan.The bus and its cite-seeing stations will be decorated with the colours and themes of the Pink Caravan, to promote its mission and encourage community members and tourists to donate.
Following the ceremony, His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, along with a number of guests and prominent figures, headed to the University Hospital-Sharjah, UHS, where he was welcomedby HE Abdulla Ali Al Mahyan, Chairman of UHS's Board of Trustees, University Hospital Sharjah, and Chairman of Sharjah Health Authority, Michael Stroud, CEO of UHS, and a number of senior officials and medical teams.His Highness Sheikh DrSultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimiinaugurated the Sharjah Breast Centre-the first of its kind medical facility that offers comprehensive and multidisciplinary breast cancer treatment in one visit.Sharjah Breast Centre offers advanced breast cancer treatment and surgical solutions as it is the only centre-based programme for breast cancer treatment in the UAE, that offers comprehensive and multidisciplinary breast cancer treatment that include the rapid diagnosis of a breast lesions, the development of a treatment pathway, breast cancer surgery – including oncoplastic (reconstructive and plastic surgery) and the administration of chemotherapy.HE Abdulla Ali Al Mahyan, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, University Hospital Sharjah said: "Under the direction of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, University Hospital Sharjahhasopened Sharjah Breast Care Centre, which will represent a significant step forward in the battle against the most prevalent form of cancer for women in the UAE."
"The hospital's newest facility will not only offer a unique concept to the UAE healthcare market by working with Pink Caravan and Europe's leading oncology centre, GustaveRoussy, but will also provide a service that will alleviate the anxiety of the tests for many patients - with the 24-hour diagnosis and treatment services," Al Mahyan added.In June 2012, the Pink Caravan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the University Hospital-Sharjah, to establish the world's first comprehensive breast cancer treatment centre in Sharjah in collaboration with GustaveRoussy.This year's ride will witness the launch of a strategic partnership with the Princess Grace Hospital in the United Kingdom, one of the most important multidisciplinary and best equipped hospitals in United Kingdom. The hospital, which has a team of highly qualified doctors and surgeons, will send a consultant radiologist to join on the Pink Caravan ride who will reportthe preliminary results of mammograms.
During this year, a medical booth has been set up at the Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah, with medical teams offering screenings and advice about the disease from 4pm to 10pm throughout the 10-day horseback ride.The stationed and mobile clinics, accompanying the Pink Caravan Ride and operating daily from 07:00 am – 09:00 pm, witnessed a huge turnout by hundreds of men and women who have been very keen to benefit from free breast detection screenings and medical examinations.On the first day, mobile clinics were set up at Al Qasimi Hospital, Charity Society Association in Sharjah and Sharjah Ladies Club and Al Dhaid Hospital, while on day two,they will be available at Dibba Al Fujairah Hospital, Masafi Hospital and Kalba Hospital. During the third day of the ride, the clinics will be available in Al Thamid Clinics in Sharjah, Fujairah Hospital and Khorfakkan Hospital.
There will be more than 100 riders of mixed nationalities taking part in the 2016 ride, where a wide range of educational events and activities will be held across the UAE. The events feature entertaining shows for children, aiming toeducate them about the disease and to encourage their parents to do the early detection tests. Other events will bring breast cancer patients, along with their families,aiming to engage the community to show their solidarity with them, giving hope and moral support. Additionally, this year's edition will see charity events to raise funds for the Pink Caravan.The Pink Caravan, a pan-UAE breast cancer initiative, which was launched by the Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) in 2011, receives the support and close follow up of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, and his wife, Her Highness SheikhaJawaherbint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients Society (FoCP), International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC.The Pink Caravan has succeeded in promoting awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer in various parts of the country, and dispelling misconceptions surrounding the disease.It also played a significant rolein minimising the incidence ofbreast cancer and prevented it from reaching advanced stages through free screenings offered across the UAE, thereby helping save the lives of citizens and residents.