Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, speaking at the press conference to announce final details of this Sunday’s Walk for Life, said the event was hugely significant, and brought together a number of important factors: “There are three important element here. Firstly solidarity for women who have cancer, letting them know they are not alone, that this can affect anyone. Secondly this is an event about unity, unifying us, Adeje and Arona, and events like this are important in developing the zone; unifying us in a humanitarian cause, and with global significance as this has a huge international dimension. Thirdly this is about calling attention to the health issue, to the importance of funding for cancer prevention and treatment, and that there must be no cuts in this funding”.
He added that the event on Sunday, the 9th annual Walk for Life, was a Fiesta of Commitment.
The Walk for Life is now an annual event that is held in the boroughs of Adeje and Arona and unites thousands of walkers raising awareness about breast cancer and the importance of early detection, as well as funds to help research and treatment. The event’s organiser Brigitte Gypen, said that this year they were hoping to increase the number of walkers – “last year there were 2,300 walkers and we raised €16,000. We hope to top that this year”, she said. Responding to a question she said that, as a breast cancer survivor, when she organised the first walk, nine years ago in Santa Cruz, she was surprised when almost 500 people turned up, but now, nine years on, was delighted at the numbers turning out every year.
The Walk for Life, on Sunday December 15th, will start at the Magma Arte & Congresos centre in Adeje, take the road to the coast and walk along the sea-front to the Centro Comercial Nueva Mar, in front of Playa Las Vistas in Arona – almost five kilometres. The walk begins at 10.30, but organisers are asking people to turn up at least an hour beforehand to register (minimum donation of €3), pick up a t-shirt or cap, and join in the Zumba class organised as a warm-up before the walkers set off. All who register are also given a numbered ticket as there is a grand raffle at the end of the walk, with the top prize a ten-day cruise with Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, as well as other prizes. Luke Towler, the Adeje School of Music student, will perform his own song Walk for Life, which he wrote for his mother, also a cancer survivor, and which has become the anthem of the event. A number of swimmers – up to 50 – will be doing a parallel swim at the same time.
The organisers also announced that courtesy of Barrera Chinea there will be a bus for those who want to participate but might not be able to physically complete the 5K walk, and would also bring people back to the Magma centre after the event ended, so walkers could return to the cars. Participants will also be asked to take photographs with their cameras or phones during the walk and afterwards send them to an email (to be allocated) as next year, in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the walk, a special calendar would be published using the photographs sent.
Also taking part in the press conference were Carlota Cobo Hernández, director of the Tenerife Cancer Association, María del Carmen Bonfante, president of ÁMATE, the Association of Women Affected by Breast Cancer, Antonio Sosa, deputy mayor of Arona and present were Adeje councillors for Health, Rafael Dolado García, for Social Welfare, Amada Trujillo Bencomo, and for Equality, Juan Desiderio Afonso Ruiz. Antonio Sosa said the event was an important reflection of the solidarity and commitment of South Tenerife.