In solidarity with victims of cancer


The activities were held to commemorate National Cancer Day.

At the religious service presided by Bishop French Chang Him, who is also the chairman of Cancer Concern Association, prayers were said for victims and others at risk.

Bishop French addressing the congregation

The Bishop gave thanks to God that the service was being aired by SBC Radio, to reach out to those suffering and others supporting cancer patients.

Bishop French -- who lost his wife Suzy to cancer -- noted that when she was still alive, they had together pledged after a trip to South Africa to set up a support association for patients of cancer and those at risk.

He said he was rather happy that this has grown and Cancer Concern Association today has some 300 members, many of whom are people like himself who have lost a loved one to the disease.
Turning to the theme “Together, it is possible”, Bishop French said cancer can best stopped if diagnosed early.

He said people must stop being afraid of undergoing tests, simply because they are “afraid of what the doctor can tell me”.

He called for more solidarity between relatives and neighbours. “For instance, it’s sad that a patient has to pay so much in taxi fare, when a relative or neighbour who has an empty car can offer a lift or collect medication from the clinic.”

Bishop French also asked the question; “Who cares for the carers?” and paid tribute to Dr George Panovsky, who recently passed away.

He revealed that Cancer Concern Association intends to initiate a survey to find out exactly why the illness is on the increase.

Members of the public showing their solidarity with cancer victims during the church service yesterday

Walking from St Paul’s mulling over what has been said, the associatiation’s secretary, Josie Michaud-Payette -- who revealed that as a media person, she was one of the founder members at a time when cancer was still much taboo -- also had the same message.

“We should be supporting one another, always lending a helping hand. Those who are ill should not feel they are alone,” she said. 

Josie went on to appeal to spouses not to abandon the one they once loved simply because that person is ill with cancer.

“This is the time she needs you most and don’t forget you once pledged to cherish each other in sickness and in health.”

“At the same time, cancer victims should not shy away. They should reach out for support. Be sure that someone will come along. It is not the end of the world.”Visitors at one of the stalls in the exhibition

Across the verandah, another Cancer Concern member and former radio and TV journalist Lindy Vital was distributing leaflets on cancer. These included ‘Spotting the signs of cancer’, ‘Preventing bowel cancer’, and ‘Testicular cancer, what you need to know’.

In the exhibition a stand manned by the Health Ministry offered advice on healthy living and ways to detect cancer, especially those of the breast and testicles.

This coming Saturday, the ministry will conduct a special session for men at the Seychelles Hospital. This will allow men to check their uric acid and sugar levels as well as Body Mass Index (BMI) which ascertains if a person is obese or underweight.

Advice will be offered on regular checking for testicular cancer.
Several herbalists were also present, offering medicinal plants for sale. Jeamie Dogley was offering aloe vera, lemon grass, turmeric and pomegranate, which are reputed for a host of health ailments.

Marie-Andre Contoret was selling juice squeezed from the fruits of “Bwa Torti”  or “Noni”, which has recently  become popular as a cure for cancer.