Zayed University students go pink to raise awareness of breast cancer


October 13, 2015

Hope, faith, strength, cure, fight, love and courage: these were words of inspiration used by Zayed University students, who decorated the female promenade with pink ribbons and balloons for the breast cancer awareness campaign held in Abu Dhabi campus.

Interactive pink booths that attracted hundreds of students were installed to help women become more breast-aware, reduce the stigma associated with breast cancer, and raise awareness about new treatments as well as important early detection methods.

Coinciding with the International Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the two-day event, hosted a wide array of activities from several partners and sponsors to promote the concept of early detection and regular check-ups in the Emirati society.

Amal Al Khouri, Activities and Events Manager at the Student Affairs Department in Zayed University and organizer of the event, said: “Zayed University students have exerted exceptional efforts to build their breast cancer awareness campaign this year. Their efforts express their care and determination to raise awareness of breast cancer and provide their counterparts with high-quality services, which encourage greater response to early detection examination and break myths and stereotypes.”

“Zayed University has earlier raised funds, as part of several campaigns aimed at enhancing awareness against breast cancer. Proceeds of previous campaigns were donated to the Breast Care Center at Tawam Hospital, Khalifa Fund and many others, which reflects Zayed University students’ exceptional sense of awareness and social responsibility,” Amal added.

Awatef Al Menhali, a junior student at the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, installed the ‘Hope Booth’ with the help of one of her colleagues. The booth aimed to get brochures and booklets distributed amongst students to raise awareness of breast cancer types, symptoms, causes and treatment and collect donations for those affected by breast cancer.

“I was trained for almost one month at Al Mafraq Hospital and was involved in educational workshops that emphasize the importance of free screenings, early detection and methods of self-examination. Training can support breast cancer awareness and it is effective in reducing the distress of women with breast cancer,” Awatef said.

The pink awareness ribbon photo booth has also attracted a large number of students in Abu Dhabi campus. The booth was installed by Sheikha Mohammed, a senior Zayed University student and member of the Humanities and Social Sciences Council.

“We collect donations and organize walks within the Zzayed University community to raise money and fight breast cancer. Since the beginning of our campaign, we have noticed a high rate of students participating in all activities,” Sheikha added.

Breast Cancer Myths

Reem Rahid and Wadha Fahad, ZU students enrolled at the College of Technological Innovation and the Academic Bridge Program, spoke about some breast cancer myths that often occur amongst women. For instance, if you are at risk of breast cancer, there is little you can do but watch for the signs.

“There is a lot to do to lower your risk of breast cancer. Women should regularly exercise, examine their own breasts and conduct regular clinical exams and mammograms. Additionally, there is another myth that breast cancer is not common among young women. This perception needs to be changed completely as cancer can occur to both young and old women and early detection is the best way to survive it,” Reem said.

The event also witnessed an active participation of Balloons and More, a home-based business initiated by young Emirati entrepreneurs from the American University of Sharjah.

Maha Al Ghussain and Mai Al Qubaisi wanted to support Zayed University’s campaign and participated with lively decorations that inspire women with breast cancer to live, love, smile and combat their suffering.

Other organizations that collaborated with Zayed University in the two-day breast cancer awareness campaign include: PinkClouds, Balloons and More, Alouettecreperie, Beverly Bakery, and many others.