SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – Member of Parliament (MP) Solange Ludmila Duncan is publicly saluting the breast cancer survivors who are sharing their personal stories within the community this October – Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Duncan also recognizes and thanks the Still Beautiful Foundation, Positive Foundation for decades worth of awareness efforts as well as the Elektralytes Foundation, partnering now to also raise awareness and action on prostate cancer.
According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the world’s most prevalent cancer and lately more women ages 35 and up are being diagnosed. It is also recognized that women are still afraid to come forward and talk about this disease.
“I am extremely proud of the women in our community who are breaking the stigma and sharing their experiences as encouragement and support to others who are fighting this disease. Any fighter needs a strong support system and community to win that fight,” mentioned the MP.
“Over the last year, for the first time, I experienced breast cancer up close and personal. My oldest sister and hero Zetsia Shigemoto-Duncan and dear friend and team member Yolanda Jackson-Martina were both diagnosed. I remember seeing my sister for the first time with no hair on her head, no eyebrows. I burst into tears. She comforted me and told me that everything would be fine. I tried to release any fear I had after that. I believed that my sister would fight and win, and she did.”
“When Yolanda told me that she was also diagnosed it hit me hard. She has two beautiful daughters who need her. But just like Zetsia, Yolanda’s fighting spirit inspired me. I remember when she shaved her head with a smile, courageously. I applaud her for taking the brave step to come out to share her story to encourage other women to keep fighting and staying positive despite the challenges.”
“The thing about breast cancer is that for women it goes after what many of us believe are those key components that make us feminine, our hair and breasts. I have now personally experienced breast cancer from the outside and seen the courage and endurance it takes to survive.”
“I encourage all women 35 and over to not only self-exam regularly but to check with their house doctor annually about mammograms. Early detection saves lives and most importantly there is a community of women on the island that are there for support and encouragement.”
“This October I salute and honor all breast cancer survivors and the foundations making strides against the fight of this difficult disease. Your bravery and work are highly appreciated. Thank you.”