From a virtual run to Zoom conferences, here’s how you can be informed and get involved.
October is breast cancer awareness month and reminds women to do self-examinations, schedule mammograms, and the importance of early detection. However, all year round, many patients rely on non-government organizations for support for hospital bills, chemotherapy, and maintenance medication.
Fortunately, local foundations advocate for such programs but rely on donations to assist patients in need. Here are four NGOs that you can donate or get involved with for various programs. From helping raise awareness to lower late detection rates in the country, these are the charities you can lend a hand to.
Philippine Foundation For Breast Care Inc. (Kasuso)
PFBCI is a community and hospital-based NGO composed of volunteers who come from backgrounds outside the medical field. Since 2004, the group has been motivated to better patient care and services, especially in public hospitals.
Their programs include facilitating patients’ access to funding for surgical, oncological, and radiological services. In another patient navigation program, Bukas Bintana, PFBCI holds emotional support groups and spiritual counseling for women with breast cancer.
This October, the foundation is holding free Zoom webinars and Facebook live events to raise awareness of the importance of breast care. With medical oncologist, Dr. Katherine V. Hernandez as the speaker, breast cancer symptoms, causes, and treatment options are discussed, followed by an open forum.
You can learn more about PFBCI and how to get involved here.
iCanServe Foundation Inc.
The foundation is launching a virtual run from October 20 to December 20 to raise awareness and donations. The Pink Marathon aims for registrants to walk or run a cumulative distance of 42 kilometers within a month.
The donations, which iCanServe relies on, subsidize women going through breast cancer treatments. In addition, they maintain project Ating Dibdibin—iCanServe’s response to the high late detection rates of Filipinas. According to the NGO’s website, the Philippines has the highest breast cancer cases in Southeast Asia and ranks 9th globally.
The program launches free breast cancer screenings in provinces and cities and provides medical teams and cancer survivors free forums.
You can learn more about iCanServe and how to get involved here.
The breast cancer support group was organized in 2004 by the late Money Padilla-Marzan in honor of her “cancer buddy,” Minda Iligan. Marzan understood the importance of friends while going through sickness, so Minda’s Buddies offers patients “refuge.”
This month, the Baguio-based organization holds a Zoom conference to remember women who’ve passed and honor those who have recovered. The speakers of the October 21 talk include survivor Georgina Pade and breast cancer awareness advocate Alya B. Honasan.
You can learn more about Minda’s Buddies and how to get involved here.
Cancer Warriors Foundation Inc.
While we’re on the topic of supporting NGOs, the Cancer Warrior Foundation advocates for sick children. Although their advocacy is not focused on breast cancer, the foundation supports children stricken with various forms of the disease. For over 15 years, CWF has been providing kids and adolescents with physical and psychological medical assistance.
Beyond aiding with medical care, scholarship and homeschooling programs are set for childhood cancer survivors and those still undergoing treatment to fulfill their potential.
You can learn more about CWF and how to get involved here.