At a press conference to announce details the mayors of Adeje and Arona also called for an oncology unit in the public hospital being built in South Tenerife
The Walk for Life is on December 16th this year and will probably see over 5,000 people taking part, according to the organisers and the mayors of Adeje and Arona, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and José Julian Mena, who held a joint press conference this morning. Foundation president Brigitte Gypen was at the top table alongside singer and this year’s honorary walk Grand Marshall, Agoney, who said this “was very important for him. It’s not the first time I have taken part – in previous years I sang too”.
4,500 walkers turned out for last year’s event and raised over €20,000. This year walkers will gather at the ‘Golden Mile’ in Arona and walk four kilometres to Plaza Salytien. And there will be a lot of fun activities before and afterwards, with many local singers and groups on hand to entertain the participants.
During the press conference the mayor of Arona also took time to stress the need for “an oncology unit in South Tenerife which needs to be based in the public hospital”, a demand seconded by the mayor of Adeje who added the need to address the issue of mobility, “under the current system cancer patients had to be brought to the north for their treatments, so adding to the treatments and illnesses they had to face long journeys, often prolonged by traffic jams”. Mena added that the Walk for Life was a “day full of hope but awareness has to be something permanent. It’s not just about one day but about 365 days”.
Adeje mayor Rodríguez Fraga renewed the borough’s commitment to the Walk for Life, “which reflects the solidarity of the south with those, mostly women, who are suffering from this illness. The Walk for Life gives them visibility, helps, and also highlights the need for early detection and the gaps that still exist in the treatments available”:
Brigitte Gypen thanked all those who participate and the businesses and sponsors, those helping with printing, merchandising, transport, halls, etc. She had special mention for the volunteers who work all year round to make the walk what it is. She told press that with increasing awareness of environmental impacts, this year there would be no balloons, instead streamers and flags. There will also be a flash mob – and people are already practising using the videos online on the Walk for Life and council social networks.
Detailing the use of funds raised last year, Gypen said that money was spent on the BRA project, ensuring that every woman on the island who has undergone a mastectomy has access to a special bra, designed for her needs, an essential tool in aiding recovery. Another project that has benefited from funding is the development of liquid biopsies and in the oncological physiotherapy service. These, as well as the on-going activities that happen in the Pink Room, and the donations to cancer associations such as the AECC and AMATE. Funding is also used to assist in the Kilómetro Solidario Project which provides transport for oncology patients in South Tenerife.
A surprise visitor to the press conference was the new mascot for the Walk for Life, a butterfly – a mascot that is, as yet, unnamed – but the public will be asked to help find a name through social media. The press were also shown the new promotional video, with local Spanish and British journalists urging people to take part in the Walk for Life on December 16th. And if you want to contribute but can’t take part on December 16th you can always buy the 2019 Voices for Life calendar or other promotional items.
The mayors of both boroughs also outlined other ways in which they are working to assist residents who are suffering from cancer today, “even though it might not be officially our responsibility, that is no way to evade the issue…we will continue to invest but also continue to demand quality public health services particularly in the south”, said the Adeje mayor.
The mayor of Arona informed the press that they have given the AECC association a headquarters in a municipal installation and are developing aquatic activities for patients who need them. The council also recently announced the availability of free transport for those who need to travel to Santa Cruz/La Laguna for oncological treatments.
Adeje too contributes annually, with the Pink Room in the borough’s Escuela de Seguridad y Convivencia and are working on a lymphedema prevention programme, offering therapy, transport and working with the AECC. Both mayors said they would be taking part on December 16th, “walking for life, reinforcing these action plans, because they meet the needs of our people, together”.