Awareness walk adds a new cause

2017-07-09 09:59
 

Johannesburg - For the first time in its 12-year history, the annual Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon breast cancer awareness walk will be dedicated to eradicating women and child abuse. This was announced at the official launch held at Inanda Club in Sandton.

Leading up to the main event, there will be another new addition this year: Pink Fridays, for which participants will be decked out in pink.

The main aim of the Avon Justine iThemba Crusade of Hope programme is to spread the message that the early detection of breast cancer saves lives, so that women know the importance of breast health and having their annual mammograms as well as doing their monthly breast self-examinations.

Actress Tina Jaxa, who was hosting the event, told City Press that she was excited to be part of this initiative because it had encouraged her to have annual mammograms.

Breast cancer hit close to home for Jaxa a few years ago, although she wasn’t ready to divulge more. “My family and I are still dealing with this and once I am ready I will talk about it,” said an emotional Jaxa.

“Now I can have a dialogue with family and friends. We also empower ourselves with knowledge and the more we have dialogues the more lives we can save.”

Also spotted at the media launch was TV presenter Penny Lebyane and model Tsakane Mangwane. The executive director of People Opposing Women Abuse (Powa), Nhlanhla Mokwena, said violence against women and children is everybody’s business.

The hope is that dedicating the event this year to the scourge of violence against women and children will spread that message – that the solution lies with everyone.

“Participants have the opportunity to #WalkForAPurpose and make their steps count by participating ... It is estimated that with early detection, over 30% of deaths due to breast cancer can be prevented, and an event such as the iThemba Walkathon is a great way to spread the message that early detection really does save lives,” said Avon Justine communications and events manager Vicky Saunders-Flaherty.

The Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon will be held on October 22 at Marks Park in Johannesburg and 35 000 people are expected to take part.

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