COVID-19 may have shut down many events and activities but the pandemic has not hindered the Johor Baru Breast Cancer Support Group (JBBCSG) from reaching out to cancer patients and survivors virtually.
Its new president Datin Dr Ho Eu Len said the team continued to engage members by providing much-needed emotional support since the country first observed the movement control order (MCO).
She said previously, the association held a series of activities such as sewing and cooking sessions, festive celebrations, line dancing and exercises, in addition to emotional and physical support, but these had to be put on hold due to the pandemic.
“We have been holding meet-ups and patient visits online to offer counselling, encouragement and entertainment to breast cancer patients so that they do not feel alone in their journey.
“Our committee members will take turns to speak to the patients where they share about their personal experiences and stories to give the patients strength in order to get them through their treatment, ” she said.
Dr Ho said in conjunction with the Pink October breast cancer awareness month, JBBCSG was also working with some private companies to take its annual roadshow online from Oct 24 to 30 instead of holding the event in a physical venue.
“Although the event is held online, our intention is still the same, which is to create awareness about early breast cancer detection and disseminate the correct information to the public.
“We can still demonstrate breast self-examinations and help the public understand the signs to look out for, both visually and by touch because early detection can really save lives.
“The most important thing is to let them know that there is life after breast cancer and bust the myth that having breast cancer is the end of a woman’s life.
“Almost all our more than 500 members and exco members are breast cancer survivors who are testament to that statement and we want to give hope to others, ” she said.
Apart from that, she said the association provided support for breast cancer patients who needed prosthetics and bras by offering the items at subsidised prices.
She added that the prosthetics and bras were usually sold at 50% off all year-long and BCSG was offering an additional 20% discount from October to December in view of financial constraints brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic. “The pandemic has also affected our funding, so we hope the public can donate to BCSG for us to continue offering emotional and physical support to breast cancer patients and survivors, ” said Dr Ho.
The BCSG centre, located at No 12, Jalan Ru, Taman Kebun Teh in Johor Baru, is open from 9am to 1pm, Monday to Friday. For details, call 07-335 7211.