Triathletes boost cancer coffers

Cayman’s triathletes – the fittest and bravest sports people ever – have a series of events next month.

They don’t just do it for the pain factor either. Good causes benefit too. Following the Florida Half Ironman Triathlon in Orlando in May, the Cayman Islands Triathlon Association has made a donation to the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.

On 18 May sixteen local athletes completed the 1.2 miles swim, a 56 mile bike and a 13.1 mile run course in what ended up as grueling 90 degree temperatures.

The idea to raise funds for the Cancer Society arose whilst the triathletes spent time together on long endurance training sessions in preparation for their participation in the event.

At the same time some other members of the triathlon community and their families were fighting the disease.

Celine Macken, President of the Triathlon Association explained that ‘it was felt that as a matter of brotherhood and support for those suffering we should show that we were doing more than just thinking about them’.

Macken also expressed her gratitude to Cayman Airways. ‘The local flag carrier has always been a fantastic supporter of the Triathlon Association, and they kindly agreed to waive the cost of flying the athlete’s bikes to the competition. In turn the athletes decided as a group that this saving should form the basis of a donation back to the community.’

As a result, US$ 2,200 was raised and this recently was donated to the President of the Cancer Society Dr Sook Yin.

Dr Yin said that she was really grateful for the support of the triathletes and that the money would go a long way in helping the Cancer Society’s ongoing projects.

‘With the expansion of the Chemotherapy Unit at the HSA, the Cancer Society has identified that more cancer patients are opting to have their chemotherapy here in Cayman so that they can have support of family and loved ones around them during that difficult time.

‘This is very important as it helps with improving the patient’s overall spirit.

‘In addition we are actively pursuing the Shade and Shelter project where the public can sponsor the planting of trees or the building of shelters in our schools in order to both encourage children to play outside.

‘This means that they not only benefit from increased physical activity, but at the same time they have some shade to protect them from harmful UV light that can cause skin cancer.

‘Our other ongoing programs are going strong and include the Voucher for Cancer-Screening Program which involves donors sponsoring vouchers for screening cancers such as PAP smears, Mammogram’s, PSA test, ultrasounds, FOB, colonoscopies etc.

‘There is also the Outreach Education Program where our Health Promotion Officer goes into schools and workplaces to educate the children and public on risk factors and steps to take to help with the prevention of cancer.

‘There is also the Financial Aid Program where we support cancer patients who have no, or no adequate insurance to battle their cancer. The cheque the triathletes have provided helps greatly with supporting all these valuable projects.’

Macken said: ‘The Cayman Islands Triathlon Association is proud to be able to assist in a small way with the Cancer Society’s very worthy programs.’