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$750,000 donated to fight against cancer

Sunday, August 19, 2018

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THE Hope Institute of Jamaica and the Jamaica Cancer Care and Research Institute (JACCRI) are the beneficiaries of $750,000 from the recently held 'ICWI Hope In The Hills' concert.

The funds were handed over last month at the Hope Institute of Jamaica by the planning committee and title sponsor of the event, where $500,000 was presented to the Hope Institute of Jamaica and $250,000 was contributed to the JACCRI.

The brainchild of local singer and songwriter, the late Suzanne Couch, the concert became a reality on June 10 at Strawberry Hill, St Andrew. Grammy-winning singer Joss Stone headlined the event with Couch and her daughter Sarah, who also performed. Couch lost her battle with cancer just a few weeks subsequent to the concert, at which she put on a spectacular performance.

Senior medical officer at Hope Institute of Jamaica Dr Dingle Spence, who accepted the funds, noted the positive impact the donation will have, as it will be critical to the advanced training of personnel from the institution.

“One of our main needs is to promote the education of our own staff because we are emerging as a centre of excellence and we need to make sure that our own staff are educated. We will be sending them abroad to do short courses to expand their learning; we are also seeking to bring experts down to train our people in Jamaica,” she said.

Spence lauded the efforts of the organizers and sponsors for supporting the fight against cancer.

“It doesn't matter whether you're a millionaire or you earn a dollar a day, cancer can affect anyone. Corporate involvement shows we are supported by the community and so it's heartening to see ICWI and corporate Jamaica working with us in this manner,” Spence said.

In addition to the training of personnel, the funds from the concert will be used by the non-governmental organisation JACCRI to ensure inclusion of Jamaicans in cutting-edge cancer research, and in the conducting of their own research in prostate and breast cancer.

The vice-president of marketing and human resources of ICWI, Samantha Samuday expressed gratitude at the level of support the event received.

“ICWI is committed to the fight against cancer, so when we were asked to support the concert the company was happy to step in. ICWI would like to thank every single person who bought a ticket to the event — your contribution to an affected person's life is immeasurable,” said Samuda.

Hope in the Hills promoters Laura Marley, director of Passion Fruit Agency; and the principals of The Xchange Culinary Management & Marketing, Erin Mitchell and Kimberly Dunkley are looking forward to hosting the event again.

“Being a part of this concert has exposed us to the many financial costs associated with this disease so we want to continue with this concert, as the impact of donations from the event is far-reaching,” the promoters noted.

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