The 10 Miss Cayman Contestants joined the growing number of Caymanians and residents that have signed the End Cervical Cancer Now petition on Wednesday 21 January 2015.
Cayman Islands Cancer Society Medical Director Dr Sook Yin-Eccles met the young women during a break in their rehearsal schedule to share the background behind the petition with them.
Contestants learned from Dr Yin that more than 95% of cervical cancer cases can be prevented, but that women in poor areas across the Caribbean are often without access to the medical resources necessary for early detection.
Some told Dr Yin that they knew women of varying ages who had been touched by cervical or other forms of cancer.
Miss Cayman 2015 contestants embraced the local cancer society as their platform for the pageant in September of last year.
Over the past few months they have volunteered at the charity’s headquarters, joined in public education events, assisted with the MOvember MOsquerade Ball and participated in a fundraising golf tournament in late 2014. This Sunday 25 January 2015 they will also turn out for the STRIDE against cancer walk/run.
CICS is one of the NGOs from 16 Caribbean countries that are supporting the petition, organised by the Healthy Caribbean Coalition (HCC), a civil society organisation that seeks to combat lifestyle diseases. It aims to make affordable screening accessible to 100 percent of women in the region, which has the fourth highest cancer rate in the world.
More than 15,000 people have already signed the petition at www.endcervicalcancernow.org. This includes nearly 3,900 from the Cayman Islands. Organisers are hoping to reach their goal of 50,000 by the end of January, after which the petition will be presented to Caribbean heads of government.
For further information contact: Suzette Ebanks