Breast cancer is an insidious disease. In fact, it’s the number-one cause of death among women in Thailand. Every day, twelve women lose their lives to it, and often prematurely, due to a lack of professional care, which more than half of the country’s patients do not receive. Our world relies on its mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives. To lose the ones we love is the greatest tragedy of all.
In an effort to search for a cure, raise awareness, and provide fast and professional care to women in need, Dr Kris Chatamra established the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer Foundation (QSCBC) in 2007. “Breast cancer patients in Thailand now have access to the advances made in medical technology, which has really made a difference,” says the doctor. “We can say that progress is being made every six months and with a variety of treatment approaches.”
Through its “Prevent, Cure, and Care” approach, the QSCBC aims to save more lives of those suffering from the disease. The “prevent” angle encourages people of all stripes to get involved in pink campaigns and events, such as the Get Pink project, which urges women to get annual check-ups in case the cancer can be detected at an early stage. Concerning the “cure,” the foundation supports Chulalongkorn Hospital, providing equipment necessary to scope out and combat the disease. The foundation has also set up a “home” within the hospital, providing hospice and convalescence to patients who don’t have the financial means to pay for cancer care.
The Pink Park Village project, a future plan for QSCBC, covers the “care” approach. The foundation will build convalescence homes and give proper care for breast cancer patients at all stages of the disease. Dr Kris says it will be a place where patients can truly feel at home. To that end, there will also be hospice homes for terminal patients in the late stages of the disease so that they will not have to spend their final time on Earth in dire straits. The village will blend into the surrounding environment naturally—rice fields and organic farms will create jobs for local villagers, as well as supply quality food products, making the entire project self-sustaining and holistic. Professional therapists and volunteers will staff a learning, training, and activities centre, as well.
While QSCBC has undoubtedly led the charge, many groups and individuals have gotten involved with the cause on their own accord. Renowned lingerie branded Wacoal gave customers vouchers to receive mammograms at participating hospitals. Sabina, another lingerie brand, organizes a workshop in cooperation with Singer, in which volunteers sew thousands of breast prostheses. All these are then donated to cancer patients in need and partner hospitals nationwide. Every October, Chef Nooror Somany Steppe creates special menus with herbs, fruits, and vegetables known to be rich in anti-oxidants and anti-cancer qualities. She and her staff don pink throughout the month, and encourage all women to be proactive in keeping healthy.
Recently, The Peninsula Bangkok and Bangkok 101 have teamed up for EAT-DRINK-PINK. This year, the event will be held 6pm to 10pm on October 26 at The Peninsula’s beautiful riverside garden. The gastronomic charity event offers a veritable smorgasbord of signature food and drinks from 35 of the city’s top restaurateurs and beverage providers. There will also be live music, free-flow wine, champagne, and specialty cocktails. Tickets cost B3000 and are limited to 300. All proceeds from the event go directly to the QSCBC, meaning that everyone can get involved in this crucial campaign.
Last year, money raised from EAT-DRINK-PINK sent B500,000 to the Queen Sirikit Centre for Breast Cancer Foudnation. This year, the goal is even greater: B1,000,000. For more information about the QSCBC, visit qscbcfoundation.org. For tickets to EAT-DRINK-PINK, call or e-mail the Food and Beverage Department at The Peninsula at 0 2861 2888 or [email protected]