Seven years ago, Colleen Williams’ sister battled breast cancer and every year since then Williams has been supporting the Eclipze Hair Design and Day Spa Cut-a-Thon.
“Breast cancer is a very prominent and prevalent cancer around the world and almost everybody has got a relative or a friend or a neighbour who has been touched by breast cancer,” Williams said on Sunday as she prepped for her mini-manicure at the Camana Bay salon.
Williams was among some 60 people, including children, who turned up to participate in the annual fundraising cut-a-thon spearheaded by salon owner Darla Dilbert. Williams said every year she and her daughter make a day out of the event.
This year, she said, although her daughter is away at school, she felt it was necessary to carry on the tradition, not only for her daughter, but also for her sister.
“I guess [that’s] why I was so tuned in and made more aware of this event and decided to get into what I can do locally to participate and contribute towards alleviating and assisting some of the drama and trauma associated with the diagnosis of breast cancer,” Williams said.
For the last 19 years, Dilbert has been hosting the cut-a-thon through which she offers special discounted services at the salon to raise funds for the Lions Club of Tropical Gardens breast cancer awareness programme.
“We just want to get the awareness out there and just make people know, men and women, that this a deadly disease and it can attack anyone at any time,” Dilbert told the Cayman Compass.
She said cancer patients on island require all the financial support they can get and that is what drives her to keep hosting the event.
“There are a lot of people out there in need and cannot necessarily afford to have mammograms and, as we know, mammograms can be quite expensive, especially when you do not have a good insurance company. That’s another reason why we continue to do it over these many years,” she said.
Dilbert lost an aunt to breast cancer 20 years ago and that was the catalyst that spurred her to start the cut-a-thon. She said, back then, talking about breast cancer was considered taboo and that is why she believed her aunt battled the disease in silence.
However, that is no longer the case today, she said.
“I think it [the approach to breast cancer] is changing. It has taken a while, but it is a lot better now, because the whole world has gotten into ensuring everyone is … talking about it and putting more awareness out there,” Dilbert said.
Last year, the cut-a-thon event raised $17,000. Dilbert said this year she is hoping to surpass that figure. As of Tuesday, Eclipze had raised $10,000, with more coming in with sponsorships and the sale of T-shirts and other collectibles to raise funds.