SHARJAH, 22nd February, 2018 (WAM) — The eighth edition of the UAE’s most popular annual breast awareness campaign by the cancer charity, Friends Of Cancer Patients (FOCP) – the Pink Caravan Ride – is beginning next week, on Wednesday 28th of February, and the ride’s Higher Organising Committee has revealed that a record number of equestrians have signed up to undertake this noble journey.
A whopping 230 horse riders, including 150 Emiratis, 65 volunteers from the GCC and larger Arab region and 15 from Europe and have come forward and taken the riding proficiency test to register themselves as volunteers for the equestrian route that the Pink Caravan Ride will undertake, navigating the seven emirates from February 28 until March 6 to raise awareness about breast cancer and educate people about the importance of early detection, regular screenings and timely treatment.
These numbers indicate that 70 percent of the registered riders for the campaign are locals and reflects the eagerness of local members of community to further a cause dedicated to the overall well-being and social welfare. The organisers of the Pink Caravan Ride also revealed that they have received a higher number of volunteers especially this year because the campaign’s message of community welfare through volunteerism is perfectly aligned with the essence of the ‘Year of Zayed’, which the nation is observing this year to celebrate 100 years since the birth of the founding father of the UAE Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan.
Reem BinKaram, Head of the Pink Caravan’s Higher Organising Committee, applauded this great effort, saying, “The Pink Caravan breast cancer awareness campaign’s vision will be realised when lives are not cut short nor the quality diminished by cancer. Our volunteers, who take our message of awareness and hope far and wide, come rain, hail or shine, are instrumental to ensuring that we reach our goal one day. The brave line-up of the campaign’s equestrians who are synonymous to the campaign itself, and its strongest and most identifiable symbol among the masses across the UAE are soldiers of hope and happiness.”
“We are overwhelmed to see the strong enthusiasm among both local and expatriate riders to volunteer for the ride, and are certain that their willingness to improve awareness levels and communicate the importance of early detection will touch even more lives across the seven emirates during our eighth campaign,” BinKaram added.
To qualify as Pink Caravan riders and before being allotted their riding dates, each applicant underwent a rigorous proficiency test that assessed their horse mounting, handling, controlling and maneuvering skills through a series of tests, especially because these riders will be undertaking long journeys through busy roads and highways of the UAE.
Through the seven-day campaign, which begins in Sharjah on February 28, and ends in Abu Dhabi on March 6, the main horse riders will be working in two shifts and will be assisted by supporting riders and back-up riders.
Since its inception in 2011, the Pink Caravan has been actively engaged in highlighting the importance of early detection of breast cancer, and the repercussions of the disease the UAE society and economy have been facing. The Sharjah-based non-profit has played a key role in dispelling misconceptions related to breast cancer, and offered support to patients and their families in need. The work FoCP and PCR have done over the past years have had a significant effect in reducing the spread of breast cancer and diminishing its progression to advanced stages through free medical examinations that have helped save lives of citizens and expatriates alike. Over the past seven years, the PCR campaign has offered free early-detection screenings to 48,873 people of different nationalities and ages, including 9,643 men.