Cancer Society gets its own stamp

The Cayman Islands Cancer Society's operations manager, Jennifer Weber, holds up the charity's commemorative stamps and first day cover, next to one of the bells that inspired the design. - Photo: Norma Connolly

The Cayman Islands Cancer Society is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the issuing of a special stamp and first-day cover.

The 25 cent stamp features a lavender ribbon, which symbolises all types of cancer, while the first-day cover envelopes display a lavender ribbon as well as a bell, which signifies the celebration of those who have lived to fight another day against the disease.

The chemotherapy unit at the Health Services Authority has a bell on its premises that patients ring when they complete their treatment, and the Cancer Society office also has a bell that, according to operations manager Jennifer Weber, is rung whenever any of its clients have something to celebrate.

The bell also reflects Cayman’s maritime heritage.

The Cancer Society’s 25th anniversary was actually last year, but COVID-19 put a dampener on celebrating the quarter-century milestone.

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When the government and the Postal Service approved the issuing of the special stamp, Weber said the Cancer Society was delighted they chose the 25th anniversary logo and the lavender design.

Although no proceeds from the stamp sale go toward the Cancer Society, Weber said, “We are very happy to be honoured in this way.”

The first-day cover and stamps, issued recently to mark the 25th anniversary of the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.

While acknowledging that people are not sending letters and cards via the postal service as often as in the past, Weber said she hoped that individuals would consider using the Cancer Society stamps to send get well cards, birthday or holiday cards to their loved ones.

“I know when I send holiday cards or birthday cards, I would always select a particular type of stamp. We will be using these stamps for sure, and I would encourage other people who support the fight against cancer to do the same,” she said.

Describing how the bell design was chosen, Weber said, “We were trying to think of an image that would appropriately tie in with cancer and hope, and Cayman’s unique historical traditions. A lot of hospitals in the US and other places around the world have bells so that cancer patients can ring them when they end their chemotherapy or radiation to symbolise that they are all done.

“In Cayman, the Seafarers Association, who we have a close relationship with, explained that you ring a bell a certain number of times to indicate the all-clear. So, we felt like a bell was the perfect symbol.”

In the Cancer Society office, the bell is rung for many reasons, Weber said, such as a clear PET scan, a mammogram test that shows no cancer growths, or reaching a birthday that a patient had not expected to reach.

The commemorative stamps and first-day covers are now available for sale at post offices across the Cayman Islands.

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