The ability of women across the island to benefit from free early cancer detection screenings has been significantly enhanced following the donation of a portable ultrasound machine from the Sandals Foundation to Faces of Cancer St. Lucia.
The machine was handed over Monday on the grounds of the Oncology Center at Tapion, as part of a newly unveiled Early Detection Project being implemented by Faces of Cancer St. Lucia. The machine forms part of a wider donation of wheel chairs and disposables valuing just over US $22,000 and was made possible due to the kind donations of long time repeat Sandals Resorts guests, Marylou and Tom Tarr.
Heidi Clarke, Executive Director at the Sandals Foundation says the Tarr family has been an incredible supporter of development projects in St. Lucia.
“We are truly grateful to the Tarr family who has done a fantastic job of contributing to St. Lucia’s education sector, humane treatment of animals and community programmes coming out of their sheer love for the country and its people,” Clarke said.
This donation, Clarke continued, “Will bring much needed support to the fight against breast cancer by helping with early diagnosis and empowering women with the information they need to make informed decisions for themselves and their families”.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women in low- and middle-income countries. The new portable ultrasound machine will be used by Faces of Cancer St. Lucia to conduct island wide early detection of breast cancer. Targeting women under forty- five years, the technology allows for quick assessment to determine whether detected lumps are benign or malignant, following which a biopsy is scheduled.
Dorothy Phillip, President and Founder of Faces of Cancer St. Lucia expressed gratitude for receiving the machine just in time to commemorate International Women’s Day.
“We are pleased and thankful to the Tarr Family and the Sandals Foundation, this gesture has helped us expand our vision for the services we provide for cancer patients. This donation is timely as we will be able to render covid-19 relief in the form of aids and medical supplies, to cancer patients as well as offering free ultrasound services at a time of economic hardship.”
In addition to supporting early detection of breast cancer, the ultrasound machine will also help with early detection of other cancers in the future.
The Sandals Foundation has had a long standing partnership with Faces of Cancer St. Lucia, helping to expand its offices and the services it provides.
In 2018, the Foundation’s Vibes for the Island benefit concert raised funds to finance the construction of an additional meeting room to support counselling sessions, outfit a yoga deck and improve the general infrastructure.