10th annual Pink Caravan Ride starts on February 26

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Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - The Pink Caravan Ride has also helped heighten the community’s awareness of breast cancer.

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Founder and Royal Patron of Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP) and International Ambassador for the World Cancer Declaration of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), has approved Feb.26 as the inaugural day of the 10th edition of the annual Pink Caravan Ride (PCR).

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The caravan will once again set off on a nationwide journey, raising the banner of awareness on early detection of breast cancer and offering free screenings and clinical examinations during its annual trek across the seven emirates until Mar.6. Marking its tenth anniversary, the ride will be held for 10 days this year, and witness an intensification of the campaign’s community awareness efforts.

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The campaign has been providing free medical consultations and screening to UAE residents since 2011.

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi has urged all segments of society to proactively participate in the PCR campaign by joining the ride’s equestrian or medical teams and committees, or by volunteering in its numerous associated events and donation drives. The Sharjah Ruler’s wife also called on public and private sector entities to join and collaborate with PCR to step up efforts and take action to tackle this rapidly rising burden.

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In a statement, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi said, “Sharjah’s status as a beacon of culture encompasses its advances in promoting good health. Educational awareness is key in protecting oneself from or keeping certain illnesses at bay. Good health of the whole community is vital to the continuance of a nation’s journey of development, and this is the key message that PCR seeks to instil in every individual, family and institution.”

PCR champions several values and pillars, Her Highness added. “The campaign is built on knowledge and based on cooperation and unity; it marches forward with transformative stories of challenges turned around into inspiring successes; and it constantly provides a glimmer of hope, leading to greater awareness of one’s health. These objectives are aligned with the UAE Vision 2021 that aims to reduce cancer and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs) to ensure a longer and healthier life for all residing in the country.”

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The Medical Route is led by the 200 volunteering medical personnel who offer free medical examinations at 30 fixed and mobile clinics stationed across the seven emirates.

Since its commencement in 2011, the Pink Caravan Ride has travelled more than 1,800km on horseback with the participation of 670 volunteering riders and 810 on-ground volunteers, offering free breast examinations and medical consultations to more than 64,000 men and women across the UAE. The campaign’s efforts over the past nine years have led to the positive diagnosis of 75 breast cancer cases. During this period, PCR has also helped heighten the community’s awareness of breast cancer, educating them about ways to identify early signs and symptoms associated with breast cancer, and gone a long way in rooting out misconceptions about the disease.

Each year, the Pink Caravan (PC), a pan-UAE breast cancer awareness initiative, organises this ride, which travels across the seven emirates educating people through its four different routes. The Equine Route sees 150 female and male equines from all nationalities advocating awareness through the campaign. The Medical Route is led by the 200 volunteering medical personnel who offer free medical examinations at 30 fixed and mobile clinics stationed across the seven emirates. The Events Route hosts a series of awareness-themed community events. The Fundraising Route witnesses several cancer fundraisers, and is represented by over 150 volunteers.

An earlier report said the Higher Steering Committee of the Pink Caravan Ride (PCR) — the annual breast cancer awareness initiative that travels around the UAE offering health screening for women and men, is calling on the nation’s horse riders with a spirit of community activism to join its 10th annual campaign.

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Riders who wish to volunteer should be over 16 years of age and possess sufficient equestrian skills and experience.

The pan-UAE campaign organised by Sharjah-based civil society organisation, Friends of Cancer Patients (FOCP), has been raising awareness on the importance of early detection of breast cancer, and offering free medical consultation and screening to UAE residents since 2011.

Riders who wish to volunteer should be over 16 years of age and possess sufficient equestrian skills and experience. With the tour around the emirates covering approximately 15km every day over 10 days, riders will be required to clear technical and proficiency tests to ensure their fitness to participate.

Male and female riders interested in participating in the tenth edition of the Pink Caravan Ride need to register online at https://www.pinkcaravan.ae/register/ by Feb.15, to allow the time required for preliminary fitness and skill assessments. A registration fee of Dhs500 will be charged.

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