Author: Ajla Omerhodzic
The 12th annual charity event ‘Race for the Cure’ took place in Sarajevo on Sunday, September 29.
The event was organized by the Association ‘Think Pink/Zajedno smo jedno’, in cooperation with other breast cancer survivors’ NGOs from across Bosnia and Herzegovina, with the aim to raise awareness about breast cancer and the need for empowerment of women’s health in the fight against the disease.
The number of participants in this year’s event exceeded 9,000, which is the largest number since the event is being organized in this country. The race consisted of approximately four-kilometers-long run and a walk along the route through Vilsonovo Setaliste, starting and ending in front of the Sarajevo City Center (SCC) shopping mall, as well as a short kids’ run.
Regional Director of the Association ‘Think Pink/Zajedno smo jedno’ Nela Hasic explained that millions of people in more than 150 cities worldwide took part in the ‘Race for the Cure’, and that a record number of participants attended the race in Sarajevo. “The entire Bosnia and Herzegovina is here today. Participants are together in this with the whole Europe, as the ‘Race for the Cure’ took place in 15 European cities at the same time as here”, said Hasic. She underscored that the ‘Race for the Cure’ was a celebration of life and meant a lot to breast cancer survivors and their family members.
‘Race for the Cure’ was organized with the support of the United States Embassy to Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the number of representatives of other embassies and international organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina who attend the event and in that way show their support keeps increasing each year. The campaign also brings together numerous public figures from the country who help in promoting the event and in raising breast cancer awareness among as many people as possible, through all available social media platforms.
Addressing participants of the race, U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina Eric Nelson congratulated everyone, both breast cancer survivors and other participants who came to express their support, on coming to the race and contributing to sending a strong message. “We are stronger together. Together we can change things for the better”, he said. The ambassador noted that everyone’s attendance at ‘Race for the Cure’ matters, and pointed out that the U.S. Embassy has been providing support to this event for years.
‘Race for the Cure’ is part of a global Women’s Health Empowerment Program (WHEP) for developing services to improve the lives of women with breast cancer and their families. All proceeds from the event will go into providing women in rural environments with free mammograms and securing first-aid packages for the post-surgical care for all women of Bosnia and Herzegovina who are fighting breast cancer.
Thanks to the race, around 1,400 post-surgical care packages should be provided to women in Bosnia and Herzegovina by the end of the year. The campaign itself provides information about the importance of early detection of breast cancer, thus increasing the chances for a successful and easier treatment than in cases when the cancer is discovered at a later stage.
During the campaign, organizers and volunteers distributed leaflets with the instructions on how to carry out a breast self-exam, along with the advice on taking regular mammograms. ‘Race for the Cure’, which is being organized in Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2008, has been reported to have helped many women in the country realize the importance of regular check-ups, which can be seen from the fact that lately there have been fewer cases in which the disease was discovered at a later stage.