The Pink Project was initiated by Debi Jeans early in 2014, a few months after receiving treatment for breast cancer (a double mastectomy and reconstruction) under Dr Carol Benn at Milpark Hospital.
Two friends Karen Tselentis and Larin Mariani volunteered to have their heads shaved at the KidsCan INNOVATE Gym Annual Mud Run in support of breast cancer awareness in February.
Debi decided to optimize and advertise the courage of these two beautiful, young women and invited the public to donate towards, what was essentially the first ever “Pink Projects” – raising funds for a local physiotherapist to do a three month course (Pinc and Steel Trust NewZealand with Lou James), specializing in the rehabilitation and treatment of patients with breast cancer and to raise funds to facilitate a trip to Harare by Prof.Benn to give talks to the publicand the medical profession.
The delightful thing is that the volunteer hairdresser Tammy Birkitt turned up to shave 2 heads and ended up shaving just over twenty with the “Shavathon” being the highlight of the day and countless people donating towards the target of $2500. Needless to say, $2450 was raised!
Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.Nelson Mandela
Debi’s intention is to bring together as many committed and dedicated people as possible working with breast cancer in Zimbabwe. She feels that updated and on-going information easily made available to patients, families of patients and to the care providers is essential to being able to deliver a truly compassionate, informed and therefore empowered ability on the behalf of a patient to choose their options of treatment.
Of special interest is the recent peer-reviewed scientific evidence behind promoting Lifestyle Medicine in the prevention, treatment (alongside chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy) and recovery of breast cancer patients. Neutraceuticals (cancer-fighting foods, an insulin-lowering and ketogenic diet which stresses and starves cancer cells), exercise and neuroscience-backed evidence of mindfulness training to boost immunity and manage stress are tools available to every patient and their significant others. The locus of control is therefore put back into the patient’s hands and feelings of helplessness minimized.
The Pink Project has a policy of donating at least 10% of all funds raised to The Cancer Centre as there is ongoing support for breast cancer patients and their families.
Currently, Debi is working on optimizing information, communication and collaboration between everyone involved in a breast cancer diagnosis and welcomes anyone interested in helping to identify, promote and support pink projects to especially improve the situation in Zimbabwe.