12 photographers have focussed their lens on people with breast cancer and their families
The Canarian Walk for Life foundation – Carrera por la Vida – is a solidarity initiative which works to raise awareness about the importance of early detection in breast cancer and serves too as a means by which the needs of those affected by cancer, and their families, can be met.
The event, organised annually by Brigitte Gypen, has taken place for the last 13 years, serving those vital needs and raising funds for associations, services, assistance programmes and cancer investigation. The funds and the foundation also work to help those in recovery, physically and psychologically. Among the annual activities organised every year by the foundation is the design and publication of a calendar showing the many different paths taken by those who are living with and working to overcome this cancer.
For the 2018 edition, and on a voluntary basis, the IGUALMENTE PRODUCE company, with director Ángel Pérez at the helm, set in train a creative process that has resulted in this calendar, bringing together 12 professional photographers, one for each month, each donating their own particular vision, to bring to light the stories of different individuals affected by breast cancer. Each photograph, each page reflects a unique moment, a slice of time that has a message, that unites art and hope.
Fashion photographers such as Edgar Magdalena, Beatrix Molnar and Williams Rodríguez, other professionals including the Milimalimón group, Yeray Cruz and Alberto Mahtani, Joaquín Ponce de León, Laura Swing, Juanmi Alemany and press photographers Carol Alexander and Abraham Aránega and professor Concetta Rizza have also used their cameras to capture special seconds in time reflection how individuals are dealing with and beating cancer.
The calendar is just €6 (everyone involved donated their time and work for free) and you can pick it up at various outlets, including the Pink Room in Adeje, the Carolina Boix shoe shops, and other places. Thanks too to sponsors Finca Canarias Aloe Vera, Canaragua, Farmacia Arona, Carolina Boix, Con Líneas, El Alce and Valora, who underwrote the printing costs ensuring that all monies raised will go to the Walk for Life.
October 19th is International Breast Cancer Day, and this year there is an island-wide campaign to Turn Tenerife Pink.
This morning Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga hosted a press conference with Guido Gianoli, (president, Asociación Benéfica Italo-Canaria ABIC), Santiago del Teide mayor Emilio Navarro, Arona social services councillor, Elena Cabello Moya, Adeje health councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo and Ámate president Marie Carmen Bonfante. Present in the audience were people from cancer associations AECC, and the Walk for Life, CEST, and other participating institutions.
The idea is raise awareness of breast cancer among the general population with an explosion of pink bows all over Tenerife – on trees, buildings, homes and balconies. Almost every borough is now involved in the campaign and the organisers are also hoping that the general public will become involved and wear a pink ribbon or display one on October 19th.
“Early detection and investigation are also an important part of this campaign” said the Adeje mayor. “We all have or have had at least one woman in our lives” he continued, with breast cancer now affecting an increasing number or younger women and men too. The campaign will also encourage people, men and women, to begin regular self-examinations to detect lumps or any changes in their breast zone and facilitate early treatment or medical intervention.
Guido Gianoli, who spearheaded the campaign, says there will be over 15,000 pink ribbons on trees all over the island of Tenerife on the day. “Breast cancer knows no frontiers, colour, race or religion”; he commented. Ámate president Maria del Carmen Bonfante said that she could personally confirm that early detection saves lives. She also thanked Guido, the councils and all those contributing to the campaign for their work and commitment.
The initiative also has the support of many private institutions including the Rotary Club, CaixaBank, CEST, Anima Tenerife, and Vive Tenerife.
Department of Communications
The annual Walk for Life, the ‘pink wave’ that united Adeje and Arona every year, brought over 3,500 onto the street last weekend and raised almost €18,000.
Money is collected via registration, donations, a raffle, and the sale of many related items, counted in the presence of an official notary and all the money raised goes the two Spanish cancer associations, AMATE and AECC, investigation and research into treatment, and the running of The Pink Room, a dedicated space in Adeje.
This year the route was from Compostela Beach, in Arona, to the Magma Arte & Congreso centre in Adeje, just under 4 kilometres, with live music and dancing at both locations. And for the first time there was also a race for life, with over 130 entrants running ahead of the walkers. The winner in the men’s category was Gilberto Mendoza Alvarez in a time of 12.06” and in the women’s category Adrienn Mozes who finished in 15.03”.
Following the runners a ‘gang’ of bikers set off, well decorated with pink ribbons, balloons, wings and teddies, and after them the main body of walkers, led by a steel band. Upon arrival there were refreshments and fruit free for all participants, and a raffle with a terrific range of donated prizes. There were a number of winning tickets unclaimed – more information on the numbers and prizes on the Carrera por la Vida /Walk for Life facebook page.
The organisers extended their thanks to the many public and private bodies who participated and donated to the event.
Department of Communications
Students from an Adeje massage course recently organised a charity event through the Sports department of the council, raising over €700 for the Walk for Life organisation. The organisation helps families and persons affected by breast cancer as well as donating funds to cancer research.
The event also featured sack races and acrobatics and about 70 people attended to take advantage of the massages on offer by the students of the course.
Sports councillor Adolfo Alonso Ferrera said, “this initiative shows the commitment the people of Adeje have to health and wellbeing”, adding that the town were always ready to help and participate in causes that improved the lives of people in need, and society in general.
Ferrera congratulated the organisers and students who gave of their time to the event.
This morning at a packed press conference to announce details of this year’s Walk for Life the mayors of Adeje and Arona, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and José Julián Mena Pérez, also announced the establishment of a Walk for Life Foundation that would mean a permanent infrastructure behind the event, now in its eleventh year, that has been organised by Brigitte Gypen and other volunteers.
The press conference heard from Brigitte herself, who is a breast cancer survivor, and who started the Walk for Life in Santa Cruz 11 years ago with a handful of supporters and a mission to raise awareness about early detection and intervention. “I felt lucky to have survived and wanted to do something”, she commented. Eight years ago the walk moved to the south of Tenerife and last year over 2,000 people walked and €28,000 was raised. This year “I am hopeful that 3,000 will walk”, she said. She paid tribute to the many women with cancer who walk, and those who find the kind of support and human interaction they need through the people they meet on the walk. She also welcomed the establishment of the foundation, “otherwise I could be facing divorce”, she joked.
José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, mayor of Adeje, said the Walk was very important as it “gives visibility to this cancer, something which affects many people. It also brings solidarity and help, two important factors, in particular here in the South, a tourist zone, a very international zone.” It is also,” he continued, “something that needs to be highlighted much more than just one day a year”. In this regard he had been pleased to see the Pink Room/Sala Rosa open in Adeje earlier this year, a space where cancer sufferers and their families can come to talk, meet, where the associations can stage workshops or invite professionals.
The Arona mayor José Julián Mena Pérez said the Walk for Life, growing in size every year, was also about integration. “This is an event that everyone can take part in and is something that promotes human values and health”. He added that the council were always available to offer the institutional help needed, and having listened to the words of survivors “it is important to emphasise that we are all with you and here to offer the help of this administration”.
Alejandro Martínez, ex-ACB league basketball coach, and the first Walk for Life Grand Marshal has become well known for encouraging support and respect for those with breast cancer within the world of sport. In the past he has encouraged referees to use pink whistles and players to wear pink-framed sunglasses. He thanked Brigitte for inviting him to be the first Grand Marshal of the Walk for Life, adding that unlike sport, in this fight “there are no rivals, and the fight against cancer was something we have to work on every day of the year”. And he repeated a message underlined by Brigitte, that one of the most important messages is that of the importance of auto-examination and early detection in saving lives. “I hope that for the 25th anniversary there won’t just be 3,000 walking, the whole island will be walking”, he concluded.
The Walk for Life will start from the Magma Arte & Congresos centre at 10.30 and will take the coast road, ending up almost 5 kilometres later at the Plaza del Pescador in front of the Los Cristianos Cultural Centre. There will also be a number of stops along the way and a bus for those who might not be able to complete the walk on foot. Entertainment before and after the walk is guaranteed and there will also be a raffle with, says Brigitte, “incredible prizes”. Monies raised go to research and Amate (association of women with breast cancer) and the Spanish Cancer Association, both of who work directly with people affected with cancer and their families. You can take part by turning up on the day (a small donation is appreciated) though organisers do advise turning up before 10am to
Over 120 people attended the event inspired by Brigitte Gypen and the Walk for Life movement
Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, yesterday officially opened the door to The Pink Room, a space that is dedicated to offering help and more to those suffering from breast cancer and their families. The Pink Room is on the second floor of the School of Security and Co-existence in Las Nieves in Adeje.
Addressing the 120 people who turned up for the opening, the mayor said “it’s very important that here in Adeje, in the area in general, we can have a space that can be used as a reference point for those who are engaged in the fight against breast cancer. This is also for those who are in seach of information, and those who maybe need that information, as early detection is vital. We also need to work to erradicate taboos surrounding breast cancer and offer solid information”:
He continued, “this is an ideal place to create a focus point for cooperation among medical professional, therapists, who are volunteering their services…I am inviting everyong to help create a unit that reflects solidarity and mutual help. And the Adeje council will always be here for you. It’s not by chance that we have created this space in the School of Security and Coexistence – this is security on a wider scale, not just policing, but also security of health, help for families, mediation… coexistence is integration”.
Also present at the event was the Adeje councillor for Health Protection and Quality of Life Amada Trujillo Bencomo, and Brigitte Gypen, the woman behind the Walk for Life movement, who mentioned that the idea for the Pink Room was actually first raised in an interview with English Time on Radio Sur Adeje a few years ago. She said “this service is made possible through those who are working with us in a voluntary capacity, and we will be offering help but also hosting conferences, workshops…a lot more. This message I also want to send today is “we need you because we need people to make this place work”.
The Pink Room was conceived with the clear intention of creating a place to help and increase awareness about breast cancer. People affected, those who are working in the field professionally or on a volunteer basis, can use the room to talk about issues that affect those diagnosed with breast cancer, and also promote the vital importance of early detection as well as working on funding, communication avenues, treatments, research, etc.
Councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo said “we have to work to reinforce the importance of prevention and look at how we can help those affected. One in every eight women can become affected but with early detection there is an excellent chance of overcoming the cancer. With this Pink Room we will evolve into a meeting point, a place where people can come together to talk, to offer help and advice, psycological assistance if needed – and we will be working with the health centre to promote prevention”.
“It brings more than a touch of humanity to a tourist zone”
Details were announced this morning of the 10th Walk for Life/Carrera por la Vida at a press conference in the Los Cristianos Cultural Centre where the mayors of Adeje and Arona and representatives from the Spanish Cancer Association and Amate joined the movement’s founder, Brigitte Gypen at the top table to announce final details of this year’s walk.
The walk, which Brigitte hopes “will bring together 3,000 people this year”, takes place on Sunday December 14th starting at 10.30am from the CC City Centre in Playa de Las Américas in Arona, with participants walking a bit further this year, to the Plaza de San Sebastián in La Caleta. Both the mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and of Arona, Francisco José Niño congratulated Brigitte on her decade-long work in setting up and continuing this event which raises much needed funds for both cancer research and to help cancer sufferers and their families. Both mayors also spoke of the unifying nature of the walk, and Brigitte herself said there are participants, both residents and tourists, from many different countries, who are looking forward to coming together to walk in unity.
The Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodriguez Fraga said “this is an event based on solidarity that brings together businesses, institutions, persons and organisations and also helps makes the issue a visible one. It also brings more than a touch of humanity to a tourist zone”. Arona’s mayor, Francisco José Niño said this was about more than uniting Arona and Adeje “this is about all of us, together”, promising this year we would see “a spectacular pink wave”.
As well as walking there will be events taking place both at the start of the walk and at the end, live music and entertainment, a steel drum band to keep the walking pace up, courtesy buses for those who might not manage the full distance, and many surprises along the way. Radio Sur Adeje will also host a live radio marathon based in the square in La Caleta during the morning – you can listen in locally on 107.9FM.
Each person who registers (do get there early to register please) will receive some ‘pink’ goodies, and more can be bought on the day, and you will also be given a ticket which will enter you into a draw with a host of super prizes including weekends in many fine hotels in South Tenerife as well as a Fred Olsen cruise. You can also fill in one of the ‘I am walking for……’ placards which allows you name a person or association that you are supporting if you like. Brigitte also reminded participants to ensure they have adequate sun cream and that there would be drinks and fruit along the way to refresh the walkers.
The conference will be held first in English and then in Spanish to allow as many people as possible attend and ask questions
This Friday September 26th renowned breast cancer specialist, Isabel Rubio Rodríguez will hold a special conference in Adeje as part of the ten events marking this year’s Walk for Life 10th anniversary. The conference will be in English and Spanish and starts at 6pm.
Organised by the Walk for Life, the Adeje council and the Spanish Cancer Association, the AECC, the conference is titled “Breast cancer today – towards individualised treatment”, and takes place in the Costa Adeje Centre for Tourism Development, the CDTCA . The first hour will be in English, from 6pm, the second in Spanish, from 7pm.
According to the Adeje councillor for health, Rafael Dolado García, “with this initiative we hope to offer a platform with an expert who can answer a range of individual questions about this condition.” He added, “the idea to hold the conference in two languages is so that there is a much wider spread of people reached, as we know breast cancer affects many people, most of them women, and it is vital that they learn about new advances in treatment”.
During the day there will also be an area set aside for private consulations and instructions in carrying out regular breast examinations with specialsits from the AECC and the Hospital Quirón Costa Adeje.
Isabel Rubio Rodríguez is a surgeon and co-director of the Breast Cancer unit at the Baselga Oncology Institute and has worked extensively in cancer prevention. She studied in Salamanca and and Badajoz and subsequently worked in Arkansas and Houston, Texas. Her specialist areas are in surgery related to breast cancer and investigave research into the sentinel lymph node, intra-operative breast ecographs, neoadjuvant chemotherapy and lymphedema prevention. She is also the co-ordinator for the breast cancer surgery wing of the Hospital Vall d’ Hebron de Barcelona and has published many research papers in national and international medical journals and books. She is also a member of a number of prestigious cancer associations.