Think Pink Lux at 5

A lifeline in English for women facing cancer

Committee members of Think Pink Lux, from left: Margot Parra, Michaela Dennis, Carrie Cannon, Theresa Calvert and Nicola Vickers
Committee members of Think Pink Lux, from left: Margot Parra, Michaela Dennis, Carrie Cannon, Theresa Calvert and Nicola Vickers
Photo: JB

An English speaking group for women diagnosed with cancer is going from strength to strength as it celebrates its fifth anniversary in Luxembourg.

Think Pink Lux emerged out of a one-off get-together among friends at the International School Luxembourg (ISL) to raise awareness about breast cancer back in 2009. The event exceeded all expectations, attracting more than 250 participants and raising over 12,000 euros, which was donated to Europa Donna.

“We were absolutely surprised,” Think Pink Lux committee member Carrie Cannon told wort.lu/en, adding: “We were more surprised when people asked us what would we do next.”

The project soon gained a life of its own as the lack of support available to women in English in Luxembourg became apparent.

Carrie explained that many of the women who approached Think Pink Lux did so because they had difficulty accessing services in Luxembourg.

“We wanted to let people know what's out there. It was about getting checked, understanding the symptoms, knowing what's available here in Luxembourg,” Carrie said.

The group achieved a major landmark when, in January 2013, they launched the first English language guide to Living with Cancer in Luxembourg, available on request through email and at various places in Luxembourg including hospitals, doctor offices and treatment centres.. And they are increasingly receiving invitations to give awareness raising talks at groups and companies in Luxembourg.

Fundraising

Following on from the success of the first event, fundraising for cancer research and charities is a major focus. The main fundraising activity of the organisation is the annual ING Night Marathon, in which Think Pink Lux runners can be easily spotted because of their vibrant pink attire. At its most popular, runners raised more than 32,000 euros in one year alone. For the last two years, the funds have been invested into an award financing a phd cancer research role in memory of Marian Aldred, a colleague and founding committee member who passed away.

Committee member Michaela Dennis said: “We had to find something educational because she (Marian) was connected to education. Something that really represented what was important to her.”

The charity will present their last cheque to Dr Marc Diederich Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire du Cancer (LBMCC) at their fifth anniversary celebration. They hope to invest future funds in training people to provide support to patients undergoing chemotherapy, for example.

Support

This new development fits nicely within the organisation's third pillar – offering support to people going through treatment for cancer and their families.

Through Think Pink, a support group for English speakers was founded in Luxembourg, which meets once a month.

“Now we're trying to focus more on the support. We realise there's a gap in the market for English speaking people,” Carrie said, adding that talking was hugely important for people in the support process.

And, with the recent announcement about Luxembourg's Cancer Plan, there are hopes that Think Pink Lux will be able to reach even more women. Most of the information regarding this initiative is in French so it will be interesting to see if anything is in English,” Committee member Margot Parra said

Think Pink Lux celebrates its fifth anniversary with a ladies only party on October 3 at the International School Luxembourg. The evening event includes a pink quiz, dancing, antipasti, a silent auction, a pink challenge and more.

Tickets cost 30 euros. Dress with a splash of pink. To register, please email tpluxevents@gmail.com

If you are interested in volunteering with Think Pink Lux, as a website manager or in another capacity, please email thinkpinklux@gmail.com

Think Pink Lux also wished to thank the ISL for their loan of facilities for events.

thinkpinkluxembourg.com

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