This year marks 20 years of Ford Motor Company fighting against breast cancer.
The company’s journey began when it became one of the first corporate sponsors of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Ford branded its initiative, Warriors in Pink,and developed a full line of clothing and gear that donates 100 percent of the net proceeds to four breast cancer charities. Thus far, Ford has dedicated more than US$125 million to the cause. Ford Middle East’s Brand Communications and Public Affairs manager, Sue Nigoghossian, said:
Through Warriors in Pink, Ford continues to be a unifying force in driving awareness for breast cancer…this year is especially meaningful to us as we mark the 20th anniversary globally and 4th edition in the Middle East while recognising the strength and courage of all the survivors who have shared their stories throughout their journey.’
Involvement for Ford extends far beyond just financial support for research. The Warriors in Pinkinitiative encourages women to have continuing and honest conversations that keep them proactive about breast health and early detection.
In the Middle East, Ford has been able to shine a spotlight on survivors through its Models of Courage programme since 2011, shedding light on a number of survivors who openly share their experiences in the fight against breast cancer. And this year, the programme continues to highlight stories of local breast cancer survivors especially in Qatar and promotes the importance of early detection in the battle against the disease.
‘Models of courage’: Survivors and their stories of hope
Deirdre Mcguire, Nicola Simpson, Georgina Taylor and Karen Morris took part in a day’s photo-shoot to model the 2014 collection of Ford Warriors in Pink in Qatar. In addition to modeling the latest apparel and accessories from the 20th Anniversary collection, the women also shared their personal stories and encouraging messages for those battling the disease.
Karen who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, said she hopes her involvement in the campaign will raise awareness of breast cancer amongst younger generations. ‘Early detection is the key. It doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man, have regular checkups,’ she said. Another breast cancer survivor, Diana, said, ‘Early detection gives you so many choices’. Adding to the importance of early detection, Dr Maha Othman from Qatar Cancer Society (QCS), said, ‘When you know your enemy, you’ll know how to beat it.’
Georgina and Deirdre emphasised the importance of staying positive. ‘My attitude towards life has become so much more positive. I have a much more ‘give it a go’ approach’, said Deirdre. While Georgina exclaims, ‘I am glad that I am alive.’
Nicola asserts how necessary it is for friends and family to be around and offer support; as she explains how her friend enforced her checkup for a diagnosis. ‘My friend saved my life!’ she said. She’s also advises women with cancer to ‘Take control of your cancer, don’t let cancer take control of you.’
In a region where a worryingly high number of breast cancer sufferers are diagnosed in the late stages of the disease and the illness often remains taboo, Ford Middle East hopes that each of these women’s stories and their advice will act as a catalyst to encourage others to talk about their own experiences and inspire more people to get regular checkups.
Since 2006, Warriors in Pink has offered a line of apparel and accessories, and 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of these items benefit Warriors in Pink’s four charities partners: The Pink Fund, Susan G. Komen, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and Young Survival Coalition. Join the fight and support breast cancer at check out when you shop, Ford.
Ford Warriors in Pink goal is to keep the topic of breast cancer part of everyday conversation and encourage women and men to engage in self-exams. Greater awareness can lead to earlier diagnosis, which in turn, could save lives. Ford is committed to the cause and has dedicated more than US$120 million to date.