Unlike breast cancer, awareness about colorectal cancer (CRC) was almost non-existent in Lebanon before the inception of SAID NGO, which was founded in 2016 (Decree 324/2016).
SAID NGO is the only organisation in Lebanon working to prevent others from going through what the founder and her family went through after the loss of her husband Said to colorectal cancer at the age of 59 due to lack of awareness, especially by physicians, and the absence of support for patients and caregivers.
Since its inception, SAID NGO has been spreading awareness by engaging the medical/health sector to reach out to the public, informing people about the risks and preventability of colorectal cancer and offering free faecal immunochemical tests (FIT) as part of SAID NGO’s regional information strategy.
We are a proud member of many international entities which we consider as our “godparents” including Inspire2Live (I2L), Digestive Cancers of Europe (DiCE), the Global Colon Cancer Association (GCCA) and World Patients Alliance (WPA). The mission of SAID NGO is threefold – Awareness, Advocacy and Support – and our annual awareness event addresses all 3 pillars.
MARCH FOR COLON CANCER: CANCER IS NOT TABOO
In the 7 years since we started our awareness campaigns and lectures, we have gained some knowledge of the barriers to screening for colorectal cancer at the personal, system and provider level.
These barriers include lack of awareness, non-availability of testing, taboo around the topic and shying away from talking about and/or supporting the cause.
Our 3rd Annual Walkathon on March 5, 2023 will tackle these barriers in an entertaining and educative way by engaging:
- Medical students from the universities in interactive activities with a chance to win prizes as incentives
- University and high school students to register eligible participants on our platform so that they can benefit from our free FIT screenings
- People from all ages and social economic status, together with their families, to join our free event which includes gym classes from the STEEL cancer rehabilitation programme, zumba sessions, interactive games for children and students, music and shows by schools who are supporting us and, above all, the opportunity to walk the 4.5km distance
- Survivors by inviting them to the stage to share their experience with others to break the taboo around cancer in general, and colon cancer in particular, and to emphasise that cancer is not taboo
- People who were saved from late diagnosis with colon cancer through our free screening tests, by inviting them to also share their experience and encourage others to get tested
In addition to the above, the colour blue will be prevalent everywhere, to spread the message that cancer is not always pink and to introduce “National Dress in Blue Day” which encourages everyone to learn about the causes of colon cancer and raise awareness by wearing blue.
To find out more about this event, please contact us by email, WhatsApp (+961 345 8476) or via social media @saidngo. You can watch the video from last year’s walkathon here.
You can support us by organising similar walks on the same day in your location and posting social media stories tagging @saidngo or by simply reposting our posts during the month of March.
Thank you for helping us to fulfill our mission through Awareness, Advocacy and Support!
Hana Nimer & Gladys Honein
Patient Advocates Inspire2Live
Learn more about SAID NGO >>