For the first time on One Wig Stand, the wig stand is not the only one doing all the talking. The women we met at Sanad: The Breast Cancer Support Group are – and they’re doing so boldly!
Upon arriving to the center last Wednesday, we were greeted by the security guy sporting a pink ribbon on his badge. We were at the right place.
This openness about cancer in Amman is something that stood in sharp contrast to how the subject is dealt with here in Lebanon. While there will always be people who want to avoid the subject, some even going to the extreme of not looking at the center itself when it was first opened, the general vibe we got was that talking about it was the surest way to promote early detection. And it was oh-so-refreshing to hear that from the survivors themselves.
My friend Rosanna (who was helping us in Jordan for the project) and I wondered if part of that openness to talk about cancer had something to do with their own leader, the late King Hussein who sadly lost his battle to cancer, having gone through this. A lot is being done in Jordan to support the King Hussein Cancer Center, which is “one of the most prominent comprehensive cancer centers in the Middle East that treats both adult and pediatric patients.” (Wikipedia) Among these nationwide initiatives is the Restaurants Care donations campaign (which I wrote about earlier in “Just add it to the bill.“).
The Sanad Center, where we met two strong survivors that day, is the first patient support group at the King Hussein Cancer Center. Established by a group of women who had survived breast cancer in 2003, their motto is “You are not alone, because we are with you” and that strong support network was evident from the moment we sat with the women. They are doing really great work to help women with breast cancer and I applaud their earnest efforts to raise awareness.
A little sneak peak of our meeting at Sanad:
There’s simply too much to post in one entry, so will keep giving you bits and pieces about our meetings in Jordan in the coming day. Keep posted!
* Special thanks to the Sanad Group, Raja Al-Salhi, Roland and Khitam for sharing their stories and time with One Wig Stand