EMPOWERED AND PARTNER SURVIVORS GEAR UP FOR A MORE INTENSIFIED BATTLE AGAINST COLORECTAL CANCER
Another 15,000 under-privileged Malaysians reached.
Since 2010, EMPOWERED- The Cancer Advocacy Society of Malaysia has made its mark in Malaysian under-resourced communities through the detailed yearly implementation of its signature Colorectal Cancer Screening and Treatment Project. Led by its Founder and President, Dr. Christina Ng who is also a Consultant Medical Oncologist, EMPOWEREDs cancer programs are designed to center community and people right in the heart of its mission. Bona fide testimonials from EMPOWEREDs beneficiaries speak volumes of the societys meaningful impact on under-privileged Malaysian lives. Through the detection and removal of precancerous polyps and early stage colorectal cancers, EMPOWEREDs beneficiaries are indebted to the society for saving their lives. By mid 2014, the societys relentless efforts through its yearly Colorectal Screening and Treatment Project will reach nearly 75,000 low income Malaysians. This year, the society is directing its focus and resources into the underprivileged communities of Cheras, Kuala Lumpur. This year, EMPOWEREDs battle against Malaysias top cancer killer in the country is intensified by its partnership with energetic and outspoken colorectal cancer survivors who are passionate about the societys cause. This partnership aims to intensify EMPOWEREDs advocacy for early colorectal cancer detection through effective mass screening methods.
EMPOWEREDs work has received steady and robust support from the Ministry of Health. Firm grass-root collaboration with Klinik Kesihatan Cheras, Jabatan Kesihatan Wilayah Perseketuan in EMPOWEREDs 2014 Colorectal Screening and Treatment Project, will add tenacity to the patient support system which has been built into the project blueprint to meet the emotional needs of residents who will be newly diagnosed with colorectal cancer. EMPOWEREDs continuing alliance with Hospital Selayang is instrumental in ensuring that its beneficiaries with occult blood picked up in their stool, can be efficiently referred for colonoscopy and subsequent cancer treatments. At the launch event of the societys 2014 project in Cheras, the Deputy Health Minister, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Dr. Hilmi bin Haji Yahaya said, Good work and congratulations to EMPOWERED for their commitment in organising this very beneficial program. I hope that this program will achieve its objectives and will be able to spark a paradigm shift among the target group of residents from Perumahan Awam Seri Sabah 3A & 3B. A very important message that needs to be delivered is to prevent colorectal cancer by early detection and obtain immediate treatment if needed.
Colorectal cancer survivors stepped up to partner with EMPOWERED at the launch of its 2014 project, adding fuel to their collective battle against the deadly disease. Tuan Haji Zainuddin was diagnosed with stage 2 colorectal cancer in 1975. As the 76 year old cancer survivor addressed the cheering Cheras crowd, he shared unreservedly about the fragility of life. I thought it was the end of everything because I was only 40 years old then. The word cancer was very frightening indeed& he recalled. But cancer did not deter Tuan Haji Zainuddin from pursuing his goals and dreams. As he shared his triumphant journey through cancer, he uttered, Between 1985 and 2014, I have been to Umrah seven times! Tuan Haji Zainuddin attributed his strength through adversity, to the loving support he received from his family. He inspired the audience to follow through with EMPOWEREDs 2014 Colorectal Screening and Treatment Project. Look, they even equip you with emotional support! Where can you find a program like this?& he concluded.
Mr. Yap Kean Seng was 51 years of age when he was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer. I took the news calmly when the news was broken to me& he shared unreticently. Since my diagnosis nearly two and a half years ago, I have had 3 surgeries and 2 courses of chemotherapy& he openly spoke. My cancer history is proof to all of you that early detection through screening is so important. If you are diagnosed in late stages like me, you go through so much more physical and emotional ordeal& he continued explicitly. When asked to give the Cheras community a take home message, Mr Yap re-affirmed the vital necessity of early cancer detection. Get it done now! Furthermore, EMPOWEREDs program is fully paid for!. He stressed the importance of seeking proper medical treatment for cancer and deterred the Cheras community from seeking alternative therapy.
An overwhelming response from the societys target community in Cheras to EMPOWEREDs 2014 project has resulted. Community enrolment into the societys 2014 project is at its highest since EMPOWERED began its advocacy work in colorectal cancer in 2010. Thrilled at the strong uptake into this years project, the societys Founder and President, Dr. Christina Ng applauded the beneficiaries resolute efforts to make important health changes in their lives. With determination Dr. Ng stated, EMPOWERED will continue to work in solidarity with grass-root leaders, and those in higher levels of authority to reach out to many more ill-informed and under-resourced segments of our nation.
Dr. Ng also urged Malaysians from all walks of life to join forces with EMPOWERED to battle the countrys top cancer killer. There is substantial evidence that colorectal cancer screening is effective in reducing colorectal cancer mortality. And yet the screening rates in most countries including Malaysia remain far too low& she reported during the media briefing. Current recommendations call for adults aged 50 years and older to be screened for the disease. To achieve higher screening rates amongst Malaysians, awareness about viable screening options needs to be aggressively promoted. EMPOWEREDs organised and population-based strategy to the execution of our screening programs in under-resourced Malaysian communities since 2010, have successfully resulted in uptakes as high as 85%& Dr. Ng further explained.
Dr. Ng recognised that the financial support of corporate partners is critical in realising the societys vital initiatives. At the launch event of EMPOWEREDs 2014 project, she expressed the societys gratitude towards every donor and sponsor who have generously supported EMPOWEREDs cause. Outreach projects like these are critical for the well being of the community. As a Foundation with a strong focus on community health, Yayasan Sime Darby aspires to reach out and help with early detection. We are passionate about empowering initiatives such as this which will give access to all segments of society to educate themselves and provide them with the necessary support for early cancer detection, said Pn. Hjh. Yatela Zainal Abidin, Chief Executive Officer of Yayasan Sime Darby, the main funder of the EMPOWEREDs 2014 Colorectal Cancer Screening and Treatment Project.
Dr.Ng urged the Malaysian public, both individual and corporate groups, to partner with EMPOWERED, and to give and donate generously towards societys mission.