Despite the challenging economic environment created by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers of Fiji’s longest running and biggest cancer fundraising event have decided to carry on with the campaign this year.

The
prestigious Bushells Fiji’s Biggest Morning Tea (BFBMT) initiative which began
in a humble way in 2006 has helped save thousands of lives and facilitated the much-needed
patient care support for both cancer survivors and patients undergoing
treatment.

Organized
by the Fiji Cancer Society in partnership with the Motibhai Group, the 15th edition
of the BFBMT initiative for this year was officially launched on Monday, June
22 at the Motibhai Group Suva office in Walu Bay.

“These are difficult times because of COVID-19 and its
global impact on businesses and families across every sector but we must not
forget that the pandemic will come and go but unfortunately cancer as a disease
remains in our communities and it is therefore essential to carry on with the
campaign to enable the society to raise the necessary funds to operate
smoothly,” Motibhai Group marketing manager Abraham Gomes said.

“That
is why our organisation decided to step in and carry on the partnership as many
cancer patients and survivors depend on such campaigns for the support they
receive from the hardworking team at the Fiji Cancer Society,” Mr Gomes added.

“I
strongly request all organisations which have been hosting a tea event to raise
funds in previous years not to shy away this year but rather work around the
situation to facilitate such a noble cause,” Mr Gomes said.

He
said the Fiji Cancer Society has rolled out virtual tea party packages for sale
such as special hampers which contain the necessary ingredients for
organisations interested in hosting their morning tea events at a smaller
scale.

Echoing
similar sentiments, Fiji Cancer Society chief executive officer Belinda Chan
said the aspiration which drives the society is the simple vision of the nation
being free from cancer.

“This
is the change we want to make, and the Fiji Cancer Society uses this vision to
inspire ourselves, our patients, partners, survivors, families, and communities
into being proactive in combating cancer from all angles,” Ms Chan said.

“Our
strategic plan for 2018-2022 sets out how we are harnessing the motivation and
momentum from this vision and how it is translated into action across the
cancer spectrum in these challenging times,” Ms Chan added.

“Cancer
is a great burden to the Fijian people, causing physical, social, and economic
hardship both in the short and long term; for those who suffer from cancer
directly, and those being indirectly affected such as families, colleagues and
friends. This is why the Fiji Cancer Society exists: to support those who are
suffering or recovering from these hardships.

“The
society recognises the magnitude of cancer in Fiji: it is the third leading
cause of death, accounting for more than 10% of all deaths in 2015, and there
were 1387 reported.

“When
the society was established in 1993, the purpose was to engage, educate the
community and facilitate services and diagnostic treatment for cancer patients.
Since then, our activities have grown, to embrace a holistic approach towards
patient and family care.

“The
society has built strong links with the Ministry of Health and Medical Services
in order to provide clinical care which has been demonstrated in the past few
years of collaborative patient support services.

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