The determination of anti-cancer organisations to find a cure for the deadly disease is receiving a big shot in the arm from CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank.
On Sunday, September 30, 2012, the bank hosted its first annual lapathon in Jamaica at Emancipation Park which raised funds for cancer research.
The lapathon saw employees, their families and friends from FirstCaribbean's 13 branches along with central administrative and operational teams on island, walking 10 laps with representatives of the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS).
It coincided with similar activities across the Caribbean as well as the annual 'Run for the Cure' event in Canada, organised by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and sponsored by CIBC, resulting in teams of over 3,000 in the Caribbean and 13,000 in Canada walking or running in support of finding a cure for cancer.
Funds raised through donations from participants were matched by the bank.
Nigel Holness, managing director of CIBC, welcomed participants and noted that while the bank is focusing on its achievements in this its 10th year of operation, it could not let the occasion pass without giving back to the community.
"The bank decided to mark its 10th anniversary by honouring those lost to cancer and encouraging those who continue to fight," he said.
Noting that "cancer is a disease that has touched the lives of many staff, personally or through relatives and friends", Holness praised the Cancer Society for "doing a fantastic job in raising awareness and providing treatment for cancer patients".
He said that the partnership between the JCS and the bank should create "an even greater impact in increasing awareness of the disease, raising funds for cancer care, treatment and research, showing support for cancer survivors and remembering those who passed".
Yulit Gordon, executive director of the JCS, thanked CIBC FirstCaribbean for its support and praised the bank for its corporate citizenry, while Clover Allen Wilson, cancer survivor and American Cancer Society-designated 'Hero of Hope' in Jamaica, expressed gratitude on behalf of cancer survivors everywhere.
Following the lapathon, bank employees launched 10 balloons, each a different colour, representing the 10 most prevalent forms of cancer in Jamaica.