San Juan, PR – It is a well-known fact that the business sector is uniquely positioned to lead the fight against cancer, and Abarca jumps to the challenge in this cause.
CEO’s Against Cancer is a highly influential group made up of executives from the world’s top institutions, committed to spreading cancer awareness and prevention efforts. Every April, in recognition of National Cancer Control Month, the committee hosts the Fit2Be Cancer Free CEO Fitness Challenge, a 24-hour event in which chapter members track their every step throughout the workday, simultaneously encouraging their colleagues, friends, and communities to get more active in their daily lives.
For the past two years, Abarcans have taken the challenge very seriously, as we firmly believe that the course of cancer can be changed by spreading our message and sharing the knowledge and resources available.
The stepping shifts were organized between Abarcan executives and staff (lasting from 4 AM to 9 PM), all the while passing the Fit2Bit along to one another. The level of commitment demonstrated by our team was inspiring –many people were even turned down as we had reached the limit of participants. This year, the Puerto Rico chapter won the first three places in the challenge, with Wendy Perry, General Manager of Commercial Operations at Merck PR, coming in at first place.
What is Cancer?
Cancer refers to a collection of related diseases where some of the body’s cells begin to divide abnormally without stopping –spreading into surrounding tissues. The human body is made up of trillions of cells, and cancer can start almost anywhere.
In a normally functioning healthy body, cells grow and divide to form new ones, replacing old cells when they have become damaged and/or die. However, in a body that has developed cancer, this process breaks down, allowing old and damaged cells to survive alongside the newly formed cells. In solid cancers, such as breast or prostate cancer, this surplus of abnormal cells create tumors that may be big enough to be seen through imaging diagnostic technologies.
In blood cancers, such as lymphoma or leukemia, the abnormal growth of blood cells creates an imbalance that alter its normal functioning, making the patient more prone to severe infections and bleeding, among other serious effects. Moreover, cancer is everybody’s business, as it is expected to affect 1 in 4 Americans in their lifetime according to the American Cancer Society.
Healthy living is the first step in disease prevention, and a value we at Abarca champion through our initiatives and most importantly, through our actions. Some of the most successful and useful tools are: early detection, prevention, and regular screenings.
If you or someone you know is living with cancer, know that you are not alone. Plenty of support is offered by the American Cancer Society (amongst a multitude of other sources) such as treatment options and advice on coping with side effects. The organization can even find you a cost-free ride to treatment or a place to stay when treatment is far from your home. Likewise, you can also find support programs and services in your area.
When it comes to dealing with something as unpredictable as cancer, all we can do is put one foot in front of the other. Abarcans are committed to the journey ahead — through raising awareness and public engagement, we can save lives. The Fit2Be Cancer Free Challenge was just one step on the long, though, hopeful road to a better way in healthcare, and a world free of the suffering associated with cancer. Every step forward counts and starts with you.