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men share

Why Do These Guys

Pledge Their Support?


Two men share why increasing awareness on the need for breast cancer screening is a cause close to their heart
We cant pretend to understand what survivors are going through, but we can be there for them.

ctobers Breast Cancer Awareness Month is traditionally awash with all things female yet behind the 1.3 million women diagnosed with breast cancer each year, is an army of husbands, sons, brothers, fathers and friends who are also deeply affected and play a supporting role. Nothing can prepare you when youre informed that someone you care for has breast cancer as writer and blogger, Niki Cheong shares. He recently lost an aunt to the disease. Many of us rarely think about the disease until it hits close to home, he says. These days, very few people can say they do not know someone who has been diagnosed with the disease.

Speaking Out

Niki says he finds it fulfilling participating in fundraisers like Relay For Life (top) and Dont Duck It (bottom).

It was in 2009 that Niki got the opportunity to be part of a worthy cause: Relay for Life, organised by the National Cancer Society of Malaysia. I was part of Dato Yasmin Yusuff s Celebrities Give Back contingent and since then, Ive participated in other equally fulfilling activities, says Niki. People are still shy about such a private part of their body, so by talking about it whether through my work, on my social media networks or just in discussions and conversations I hope to help normalise the discourse. A lot of the words are spoken through action, says Niki just being there, ready to lend a hand and making sure that your loved one knows that youre there for them. He strongly urges people to get health checks regularly. And its not just women, but men too, he adds. Some men still think that its a womens-only disease.

OctOber 2011

207

men share

It was a humbling moment seeing breast cancer survivors push their way to the top of Mount Kinabalu.

The climb up Mount Kinabalu not only restored confidence and self-esteem among the survivors, but proved that there is life after breast cancer!

Going The Distance

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the country which means there arent many families who havent been affected by it in some way. Says Tan Wei Ming, Director of Thalgo Cosmetic (SEA), the sole distributor of French skincare brand Thalgo, Ive always wanted to work closely with a cause that made a lasting impact on womens lives and went beyond just monetary donations. Two years ago, the beauty brand teamed up with Pride Foundation

(Pink Ribbon Deeds) on the inaugural Climb with Pride up Mount Kinabalu. Together with about 30 survivors and volunteers, Ming trained for a few weeks in preparation for the climb. Scaling up the mountain can be a challenge even if youre in the best of health so it was a humbling moment to see how some of the survivors pressed on and climbed their way to the top, giving each other support on the way, he shares. Through these amazing women, I learned that you can overcome anything with sheer determination. W

TexT: RIna ahMad SapIuddIn / phoTo: Soong, pIcTuRe ThIS / gRooMIng: cIndy hoR

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