Day One Recap – Bahamas Mission Delegation Trip
An incredible day ahead — Day One of our Bahamas Mission Delegation! We arrived in Nassau yesterday – nearly 100 of us from across the US — thankful to be out of the cold and snow. Which made it especially funny when representatives from the Ministry of Tourism greeted us at the airport with apologizes for the 70-degree weather. They called it a Bahamas Blizzard! We called it Paradise.
Last night, “Delegation Eve,” we were hosted by the Governor General of the Bahamas, His Excellency Sir Arthur Foulkes and his wife Lady Joan Foulkes at the Government House. Great food. Great fellowship. And great fun! Among those assembled for the event were Ambassador Ned Siegel and wife, Stephanie, one of our Global Ambassadors and an Advocacy Alliance Board Member; the Minister of Tourism and Aviation; the Minister of Sports; Sunshine Holding Chairman Franklyn Wilson, and his wife Sharon; and several national leaders from The Links, Inc, our Community Health Partner. It was a truly amazing night… Especially for those of us who began this journey nearly 3 years ago.
In 2008, we were so proud to support Ambassador Ned Siegel and Stephanie Siegel as they launched the Bahamas Breast Cancer Initiative. Two years ago, we took our support a step further by funding the promising research of Dr. Judith Hurley. Dr. Hurley is studying why it is that nearly 50% of Bahamian women are diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 50, and how that relates to the fact that a full 23% of those diagnosed carry the BRCA1 gene mutation. Dr. Hurley and her team will be presenting their preliminary findings at a Medical Roundtable session today, led by our President Liz Thompson. A group of 40 medical professionals, health officials and breast cancer advocates will be meeting to discuss the critical issues around screening, genetic testing and treatment. To say that Liz is excited is an understatement!
I’ll be leading the rest of our delegation today in a Town Hall Discussion and a tour of the Princess Margaret Hospital. I visited PMH last July with our dear friend Tina Lewis (“Ms. Tina”), a philanthropist and member of our Advocacy Alliance Board. Ms. Tina was so moved by her experience at PMH, she made a generous $10,000 donation to fund additional chemo ports for breast cancer patients. After which, she challenged her friends and family to match it… Which they did! After which she challenged us to match it… And we did! After which we challenged The Links, Inc to match out gift… Which they did! Tina Lewis’ act of kindness sparked a chain of events that will leave more than $75,000 on the ground here to meet the crucial breast cancer needs of the women and men of the Bahamas.
Which brings us to today… and this weekend. The highlight of our weekend is the inaugural Bahamas Race for the Cure on Saturday morning. More than 1,000 runners and walkers will join us for a 5K tour of Paradise Island and a special performance by gospel recording artists MaryMary. And on Sunday, nearly 1,000 runners will participate in the Marathon Bahamas. Only a handful of our delegation members are running on Sunday, but we’re ALL looking forward to the VIP Breakfast on Arawak Cay.
A great day ahead… A great weekend ahead. I’m so incredibly excited to be a part of it all. They say it’s better in the Bahamas. Looking forward to making it even more so!
About the author
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure®, we have invested more than $1.9 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world.