Women 4 Cancer launch a staircase run and abseiling challenge in bid to raise cancer awareness

By Brenda Keshi
The Run and Abseiling challenge targeted 30 fitness enthusiasts in preparation for the Globeathon Cancer Walk which is set for end of January at Karura Forest targeting over 2000 participants.

Women 4 Cancer, an organization that champions the fight against cervical cancer in Kenya, hosted the first “Staircase Race & Abseiling Challenge”, opening a new chapter on the role of fitness in the fight against the disease.

The event, jointly hosted by Ibis Styles hotel – Westlands, saw about 50 runners and fitness enthusiasts face an incredible challenge of racing up 11 floors of a staircase to raise awareness of Cancer in Kenya. Another 30 Fitness experts competed for time as they abseiled from the roof of the hotel in partnership with Vertical Heights.

This was a unique event on the Nairobi skyline in preparation for the launch of the Globeathon Cancer Walk to be held at Karura forest. It also marked the start of a weeklong campaign for the cervical cancer awareness week which has kicked off.

Addressing participants, Stuart Clay, General Manager for Ibis Styles said there was need for a fresh approach to fitness as a way of enhancing organizations that fight against cervical cancer such as Women 4 Cancer, to build a culture of physical activity and healthy lifestyle in the country.

The Women 4 Cancer will at the end of the month host the annual Women 4 Cancer Globeathon Walk, a fundraising drive designed to raise awareness on the benefits of early detection, and raise funds to support screening activities across the country, in a bid to reduce prevalence of late stage diagnosis of cervical cancer.

The organization’s Chair and Co-founder Benda Kithaka said Globeathon had become a key event on the calendar of many Kenyans and a key offering to the community for corporate organizations such as Ibis Styles seeking to join.

“Globally, January is cervical cancer awareness month, and we are committed by joining world in sensitizing the public that cervical cancer can be beaten with early detection and timely access to treatment”, she added.

Cancer is the third major cause of death among Kenyans after infectious and cardiovascular diseases. According to statistics from the government, about 30,000 new cases of cancers are recorded annually, with a corresponding mortality of around 28,000 each year as a result of late diagnosis and lack of timely treatment. Regrettably, East Africa is leading the world with cervical cancer incidences and deaths, with about 4,800 cases diagnosed and over 2,500 deaths recorded annually in Kenya alone. A trend that needs to change.

This is the 5th year that the walk will take place in Kenya and it is expected to attract over 2,000 participants; including families, school going children and the corporates in Kenya.