By Cara Hunt
THERE was laughter interspersed with tears as breast cancer patients, survivors and those who have lost ones to the disease came together for the 11th annual Sister Sister Prayer Breakfast on Saturday.
The annual event, held at the Meliá Nassau Beach Resort, this year recorded its high attendance numbers ever, with more than 650 people. It is the signature fundraiser for the Sister Sister Breast Cancer Support Group.
The most touching moments of the morning came when Mark Antenor had audience members in tears as he attempted to talk about his mother Elizabeth Antenor, who passed away earlier this year. Unable to continue, his brother finished Mark’s speech, saying how difficult it was to watch their mother die and to accept that such a horrible thing could happen to such a wonderful woman.
Despite the sadness, there was also cause for celebration and upliftment as cancer survivor Lakeisha Bastian told of how she was able to overcome a stage two cancer diagnosis in her early 20s and how it had changed her life. And Nurse Charlene McPhee gave an inspirational talk on the morning’s theme, “Trust and Obey in God”.
Sister Sister is a non-profit support group of some 200 women between the ages 20 and 70 who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. The group was founded in September 2000 by Dr Locksley Munroe, Dr Charles Diggiss and Nurse McPhee.
In addition to its New Providence office, the organisation also has a Grand Bahama branch and a presence in Andros. There is also a close relationship with the Cancer Society, Eleuthera branch. Its long-term goal is to establish branches in each Family Island.
Funds from the prayer breakfast will be used primarily to provide port-a-caths to women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. A port-a-cath is used for patients who require frequent or continuous chemotherapy administration.
On average, Sister Sister provides approximately six to eight ports per month at a cost of $550 each.
Additionally, Sister Sister also assists with medical screening such as mammograms, ultrasounds, CT Scans, MRIs, PET CTs and blood work-ups. The organisation has also assisted with the purchase of oral chemotherapy medication such as Arimidex, Tamoxifen and Femora.