CAYHILL- The Open House at the St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) on Saturday, October 4, 2014 reached remarkable numbers specifically to the women public.
One of the key objectives in the Open House was to raise Breast Cancer Awareness. Attendees at the Open House included Minister of Health Mr. Cornelius De Weever, Prime Minister Sarah Wescott-Williams, Positive Foundation, Elektralytes Foundation, guest speaker Ms. Marcellina ‘Maso’ Loblack, breast cancer survivor and founder of Still Beautiful foundation. The event was attended by other breast cancer survivors.
"We have realized that as a hospital, we meet women who already have breast cancer. At that moment they need support and the best medical care available to them. We treat several patients with breast cancer and what do we tell them? We let them know that we are in this together with them. We are not undergoing surgery or treatment but we are their medical support system. We are there to answer questions; we are there to take care of them.”
In the opening session, there was A Moment of Truth during which Maso shared her story; this moved some of the listeners to tears and encouraged women to ‘get checked’. Maso was diagnosed in 2012 with stage 3 breast cancer. “People say you have to wait five years before you can say you have survived breast cancer. But I’ve already survived. Every time I see a new day, I have survived breast cancer,” she says.
Dr. Henk Wassenaar, Oncologist, gave a presentation on new research in breast cancer. The information was especially interesting for breast cancer survivors.
Dr. Wassenaar, Dr. Jane Niamut and Dr. Meno Misset together gave a total of 133 free clinical breast examinations to women who attended the Open House. 93 persons had a blood pressure screening and 92 had a glucose screening done by SMMC nurses. The diabetes foundation was present to do the cholesterol screenings, from which 80 persons benefited.
Attendees at the Open House were able to learn about the different procedures and services available at the hospital, by visiting the department stations in the front lobby. U Too Can Move instructor Ms. Sheritsa Stroop gave a Zumba session to close off the event.
SMMC thanks Caribbean Liquors for their donation of Evian bottled water and extends heartfelt thanks to the AUC students who gave breast self-exam demonstrations and to all who made the event a success.
For the remainder of October, women still have the opportunity to have a breast examination at the other participating physician clinics. The next free screening date is Saturday, October 11 from 9am-12noon at Dr. Spencer’s medical clinic in Saunders.
Uninsured women are especially reminded to take advantage of these opportunities and the opportunity for a free mammogram if required.