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MENAFN Press - 30/12/2013

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(MENAFN Press) The Friends of Cancer Patients charitable society will host the next workshop of the Gulf Federation for Cancer Control (GFFCC) in the Emirate of Sharjah in February 2014.

The decision was taken at the biennial Board and General Assembly meeting of GFFCC - a union of twelve NGOs and charitable societies from the GCC countries - which was held in Kuwait City recently.

These meetings are held in a different GCC country every two years to review achievements and to elect members of the Board of Directors and the Chairperson for the next 2 years. During this last meeting, Shaikh Dr. Khaled Bin Jabr Al-Thani, Chairman of the Qatar Cancer Society, was voted the new chairman of the GFFCC. The meeting was attended by delegations from all GCC countries, representing NGOs and charitable societies dedicated to supporting cancer patients and their families, as well as spreading cancer awareness. A delegation from the Friends of Cancer Patients charitable society (FoCP) representing the UAE, also attended the meeting.

The delegation was headed by HE Ameera Binkaram, President of the Board of Trustees and a founding member of the Friends of Cancer Patients charitable society, besides other delegation members. FoCP has been a member the Gulf Cancer Association since 2006.

The Meeting was also attended by a number of other societies, such as Qatar Cancer Society, Bahrain Cancer Society, and Zahra Breast Cancer Association, Sanad Children's Cancer Support Association, and Balsam Society for Cancer Patient's Families from KSA.

The GFFCC praised the great role played by FoCP in the treatment, support, and rehabilitation of cancer patients in the UAE, highlighting its awareness campaigns and free screening and early detection tests offered to employees, students, mall shoppers, and cultural, social, and sports club members all over the country. These efforts come as a part of a comprehensive plan to cure cancer and reduce its impact on society.

In this context, FoCP initiatives and activities have been achieving steady success over the past years, especially with regards to Pink Caravan, a pan-UAE breast cancer initiative by FoCP that sees riders on horsebacks across the UAE, offering free screening, medical check-ups, clinical examination, and educational awareness lectures on breast cancer.

In the past three years, Pink Caravan has offered free medical care to 22,877 women and men all around the UAE, which falls in line with the GCC efforts in this domain.

During the meeting, FoCP invited the Gulf Federation for Cancer Control to hold a workshop for societies that recently join the Federation next February in Sharjah, which will coincide with the launch of the 4th Pink Caravan Annual Ride. The Ride, one of FoCP's most prominent cancer control initiatives, will start in Sharjah on February 15, and will see riders ride across the seven Emirates.

This invitation was well received by the GFFCC, who expressed their appreciation of FoCP's will to host the next meeting, affirming that this would be a step towards consolidating GCC efforts in combating cancer in the member countries.

Speaking on the occasion, HE Ameera Binkaram, President of the Board of Trustees and a founding member of the Friends of Cancer Patients charitable society said, "The success that we have achieved in reaching our mission in the UAE is the outcome of collaboration between various stakeholders. On top of these efforts come the directions and unparalleled support graciously offered by our leaders. We are very content to be sharing experience with our counterparts in other GCC countries. FoCP's selection as a GFFCC member in 2006 has been a further step towards delivering our mission. We are looking forward to more collaboration and experience sharing, hoping this will alleviate the sufferings and reduce the impact of cancer on our societies."

The Pink Caravan Ride, an initiative by FoCP, will be launched on February 15, 2014, and will see riders on horsebacks from Sharjah to the Northern Emirates, passing through Dubai, Al Ain, and concluding in Abu Dhabi. The Ride will see the participation of over 100 riders, who will cover a distance of 330 km within 11 days, in a mission to spread awareness about breast cancer and offer free early detection and screening tests in mobile medical units stopping at schools, shopping malls, and other public venues.

About Friends of Cancer Patients
The Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP) is a UAE based charitable society providing its services across the United Arab Emirates to all residents of the country. FoCP was established in late 1999 in accordance with the directives and under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs, Union International for Cancer Control (UICC) International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration and Union International for Cancer Control (UICC) International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer Founder and royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients charitable society (FoCP).Being the leading cancer specific charity operating in the UAE, FoCP, an NGO and registered charity, has since its inception continuously delivered moral, financial, and clinical support to over 900 patients and their families, regardless of their nationality, gender, age, religion, or ethnicity. The primary focus is on promoting awareness around early detectable cancers within the UAE community. FoCP has also initiated numerous leading cancer focused awareness programmes targeting the community, which have become recognised locally, regionally, and internationally. FoCP is committed to helping cancer patients and their families get through the long and arduous journey of cancer treatment. Their motto is "We're with you". FoCP provides a broad spectrum of support including, covering treatment expenses for chemotherapy, radiation and other needed medications, in addition to expenses for investigative and surgical procedures. They also provide transportation and food allowances for underprivileged cancer patients, facilitate in sending patients abroad for treatment, provide prosthetic limbs, medical equipment, psychological and moral support for patients and their families. FoCP's volunteer team consists of businessmen and women, doctors, nurses, students, and the families of patients from various nationalities who have undertaken the responsibility of helping and supporting cancer patients. FoCP is constantly raising the bar and setting new targets to expand on its achievements to date and empower the community to change the cultural and social stigma associated with cancer.FoCP is a member and affiliate of a number of different organisations including, the Kuwait-based Gulf Federation for Cancer Control, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) based in Geneva, Switzerland, and the US-Middle East Partnership for Breast Cancer Awareness and Research which is supported by the US Department of State's Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). FoCP has garnered widespread recognition and awards from numerous leading institutions, locally, regionally, and internationally for FoCP leading role in helping cancer patients and creating awareness about the disease.


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