“Life has taken a tough course and the little world that I lived in seemed to transform into an abyss of hopeful despair. It took a while for me to come to terms. But I decided that I am going to fight to the very end – for my own sake, if not for the ones who love me.” These are some of the thoughts that would come racing into the minds of anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer. And we all have someone who is dear to us, either in our family or amongst our closest friends who have gone through this traumatic experience. We are often at loss of words when we meet them but it is always best to act rather than say because a ‘small act of kindness creates an endless ripple’.
2020 has been a powerful reminder that we are all in this together, and our choices and actions have the power to protect the most vulnerable among us in a big way. The same holds true when it comes to cancer. It was with this in mind that we crafted the theme and activities for our annual ‘Cancer Awareness Week” celebrations this academic year as well. It was a time to share stories of those who fought and either succumbed to or survived, a time to reflect on what causes cancer and a time to ponder on what we could do as a school to create an awareness and what act of kindness could we identify ourselves with those who have been through this or are still going through this crestfallen experience. During the week students held virtual assembles with various themes and each day various fundraising activities were organised in which both the students and staff participated with absolute commitment.
Our theme this year is “For the cause, for a cure” We understand that the search for a cure is still ongoing and that this search requires funding. As a school community we have made a commitment to contribute to this cause in whatever way we can, just as we did last year. Our main aim is always to spread awareness to every member of our GCBS family and the communities that we are all a part of.
This week we used three hashtags – #telltheirstories, #tellherstory, #tellhisstory – to spread awareness on how cancer affects children, women, men and animals.
We commenced each day with an assembly hosted by our students. Each assembly focused on one specific group and how cancer affects that group. Real stories were shared along with facts and data to clearly show the realities of cancer. After each assembly teachers and students discussed the questions raised by the assembly.
Furthermore, the activities were themed and aimed at sending a specific message. T-shirt day was used to tell the stories of someone affected by cancer. A pink heart was painted on a white t-shirt and the name of the person affected by this dreaded disease written in the center of the heart. At the bottom of the heart the corresponding hashtag was written. Heart day was used to show that we care and support those affected by the disease. Pink ribbon, pink socks and pink hat was used to show that cancer can affect anyone and in different ways.
Students and staff also made monetary contributions which will be donated to Tawam hospital. As we believe that with everyone’s support, we can show every person that their lives are important and by working together, we can inspire hope and become a force for good to provide access to the care needed.
Surviving cancer can seem like an unreachable dream to someone who’s just been diagnosed, or who’s in the middle of treatment. It’s important to remember that many, many people make it through cancer treatment and into remission, moving on to live full and healthy lives. Let us continue to live with hope as Galileo said, “I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night”.