Over 3,000 people turned up sunday to play their part in the fight to end gynaecological cancers in Barbados.
They all participated in the fourth annual Sagicor Globe-athon Barbados 2016 5K Walk and Run, the proceeds of which will go toward the purchase of a new ultrasound unit “to help us diagnosis ovarian and uterine cancer”, Senior Consultant in the Obstetrics & Gynaecology Department at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) Dr Wayne Welch said before the thousands moved off from the start line.
“We are passionate at the hospital [about] preventing these things from happening,” he added.
The QEH’s efforts have already benefitted from the event significantly.
Speaking just before the race got underway at 4 p.m., President of the Barbados Cancer Society Dr Dorothy Cooke-Johnson said the funds collected led to the opening and maintaining of a fully furnished Gynaecology-Oncology Diagnostic and Treatment Centre at the hospital in December last year.
She congratulated those who participated in the Globe-athons, telling them: “What you see there, you paid for it!”
Dr Cooke-Johnson said the new unit “is already full of women benefiting from its pleasant surroundings and brand new equipment that the Globe-athon has provided.”
Adding that the Cancer Society was “thrilled” at the turnout for this year’s walk, she encouraged women to spread the word about early diagnosis and detection, and congratulated the QEH for the work it has been doing since the opening of the centre.
Barbados’ oldest surviving cancer patient, 99-year-old Rosalie Bailey, cut the ribbon to declare the event open, along with Dr Welch, Dr Cooke-Johnson, Clinical Director of the Barbados Cancer Society, Dr Vikash Chatrani and treasurer of the Barbados Cancer Society, Angela Best.
In just 16 minutes and 54 seconds after the start of the race, Chris Oddy crossed the finish line as the first male runner, with his closest competitor, Oein Josiah, nearly one minute behind him. Josiah finished in 17:23, while Shamel Maynard finished in third in 17:27.
Rachael Atkinson was the first female home, crossing the finish line in 22 minutes flat, followed by Carlie Pipe and Ingrid Burrowes who finished in 22:41 and 22:43 respectively.