Below is a picture of Linda and I having just completed a 70 mile cycle ride, we are just too shattered to even think about being photographed anywhere more scenic than the back of the conch fritter shack.
This image means so much to me.
Firstly it marks the anniversary of my blog, as my first posting ever was last year’s Ride For Hope event (you can see I am wearing last year’s shirt, but I promise it is this year)
Secondly and more importantly because I am proud to have been a part of this event.
The Ride for Hope Bahamas began because the Bahamas is unique in the world for one terrifying statistic – Genetic samples taken by the University of Miami (Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center) show that 25% of Bahamian Women with Breast Cancer have a BRCA 1 genetic mutation – this is the highest known incidence in the world.
The Bahamian tragedy is that this more aggressive type of Breast Cancer happens to Bahamian women at a young age – 34% are 44 or younger and 45% of them have late stage breast cancer when diagnosed. The average age is 42, it is a leading cause of death in young Bahamian women.
Children lose mothers. Brothers lose sisters. Communities lose leaders, teachers, business women. Parents outlive their adult daughters, it is a tragedy on many levels. The expenses born by these families is crippling.
Testing and Knowledge is the KEY to survival – I know that personally, my mother is a breast cancer survivor.
Early screening is the proven method in early diagnosis and leads to dramatically higher survival rates after treatment.
If I can do anything to raise Bahamian women’s awareness of what the Ride for Hope Supports, perhaps it will save another friend – my message is – don’t wait till it is too late – get tested now, get Mammogram’s regularly – be pro-active in your fight against this dreadful disease.
The Ride for Hope offers free genetic testing to women of Eleuthera, Spanish Wells and Harbour Island who go for screening mammograms.
If you test positive, you have more control over your life, you will have the education and the tools you need to stay healthy and the opportunity to be proactive in your own care. I rode those 70 miles in memory of Wesley’s mother, Lynne Cleare. Who is dearly missed.