Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Breast Cancer Awareness Tea

Breast Cancer. I just can't seem to escape the darn thing. Today I went to a tea for breast cancer awareness. My mom was invited and let me tag along. The event was sponsored by the doctor who did the initial imaging when my mom discovered the lump in her breast. This particular doctor is spearheading the effort to raise breast cancer awareness within Egyptian society.

I think it's safe to say that more Egyptian women die of breast cancer than their western counterparts. Ignorance, social stigma, for whatever reason there isn't as much emphasis on self-exams and mammography here in Egypt and Dr. Hanan is trying to change that. One of the nurses there mentioned that all too often they encounter women (and she referred to them as inshallah women) who believe their fate lies in God's hands and therefore don't bother trying to screen for cancer. A unique challenge for those trying to raise breast cancer awareness in Egypt.

Onto the tea..

Boy howdy, for a bunch of cancer survivors, these women sure were joyful and lively. They were so thrilled that my mom and I were there. They showered us with hugs and kisses and even gave us gifts. They were just like breast cancer survivors anywhere else: they love life, they hate cancer and they were full of funny stories about wandering protheses. And they would randomly break into song. Seriously, these were some happy ladies.

Here they all are with Dr. Hanan (the woman in the red dress next to my mom). The blondish woman who is seated in the center is a member of Parliament who is also involved in the effort to raise awareness.

I'm not sure why the camera was there but I feel like it was pointed at me every time I shoved more chocolate cake into my face. I'll probably see myself on the Egyptian nightly news- "Nutrition is an important factor in lowering your risk of cancer..."

WAFI is the name of the clinic. The cake was very rich, oh so delicious. Totally worth humiliating myself on camera for.

Dr. Hanan had brought in some musicians to liven things up, although this crowd didn't need any help in that department.

Here's a quick clip of one of the ladies ululating. Traditionally this is done at weddings although nowadays Arab women use it to celebrate all sorts of things- like kicking cancer's butt.

1 comment:

Diane said...

Didn't think your blog could get better after the Pharoah playground but now you are topping yourself. Someone should hire you to just go around the world with your boys touring different places and blogging about it. India next?