Positive Foundation takes message to schools

POSTED: 11/29/11 7:36 AM
Marcia Holiday- Ravelli conducting Daisy Wheel demonstrations with several MAC students.

St. Maarten — The Positive Foundation and the St. Maarten’s Nurses Association recently took their breast cancer awareness campaign to six elementary schools between November 21 and November 25. The six schools visited were Leonard Conner School, Oranje School, Marie Genevieve De Weever School, Martin Luther King School, Prins Willem Alexander School and the Ruby Labega School. School nurse at the Methodist Agogic Center Marcia Holiday- Ravelli also made presentations to over 100 5th and 6th grade students in late October
The purpose of these visits was to inform young girls about ways in which they should properly screen their breasts for signs of the disease. Breast cancer remains one of the most prevalent cancers worldwide and so both organizations because it is important to raise awareness amongst all segments of society that early detection remains the best means for success against the illness.
“There is no vaccine against breast cancer and also no way of knowing who will get the disease. We do know that persons who have a history of breast cancer in their families should be start their screenings earlier and may have a higher risk of having breast cancer, but in general all women and young girls should take responsibility for their breast health and learn about breast self examinations,” President of the Positive Foundation Shelly Alphonso said.
The team used a tool called the Daisy Wheel, which was sponsored by the Positive Foundation and NVGEBE, on its visits. The tool was developed by the US based Get in Touch Foundation and is meant to be used with girls from 5th grade level about breast self exams. Students were given demonstrations lasting about an hour in groups of 25-50. They were also encouraged to actively engage with the tool and to ask questions. The feedback from the students was positive and Alphonso has committed to repeating it next year.
“It is our aim, as a foundation, to make sure that all women are prepared to fight this disease should they be directly impacted by it. This means that they must first be able to detect if they have it. The Daisy Wheel teaches young girls about how they can detect differences in their breast tissues and what times of the month they should do their personal screenings. We cannot reiterate enough, too young or old, that early detection is the best prevention against death due to breast cancer,” Alphonso said.
Schools that may be interested in having Daisy Wheel demonstrations should contact the foundation at 580-9658.

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