Editorial comment – A reminder about Pinktober

Tower Insurance staff, from left, Samantha Kenny, Esira Kini and Sala Toganivalu-Lesuma at the Star Printery Pinktober-Movember event in Suva. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

There are days in our lives when we should sit back and reflect on life.

We sometimes take things for granted.

This month is a special month, when many Fijians embrace Pinktober.

We realise awareness is critically important if we are ever going to effectively fight breast cancer.

Today, Fiji National University (FNU) senior academic Salabogi Mavoa shares his story on Page 23, about losing his wife to breast cancer.

It is not easy watching your loved one’s health slowly decline before you.

Sharing his experience, Mr Mavoa said emotions affected all family members, and there was psychological stress which was not easy to deal with.

He said losing his wife, Akisi, last month to breast cancer taught him a lesson in life. We should not be taking things for granted, especially life.

Mr Mavoa said his wife was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer in 2017 which changed his role from being his wife’s protector and caregiver to becoming the biggest supporter in her fight against cancer.

In 2020, his wife finally agreed to go under the knife and a few weeks after the medical procedure, she recovered and returned to work.

He said there was a glimmer of hope that everything was going to turn out well for the family. Their hopes were cut short when she died on September 7, 2020.

Mr Mavoa shared his children were very close to their mother, and he could not have imagined the void she left behind.

Yesterday, his younger son mentioned how badly he still missed his mother.

“There is a feeling of helplessness, but as a father, I know that I need to motivate them and reassure them that things will get better as we have to continue to move forward in life,” he shared.

This is why Pinktober needs our support. Given the high incidence and destructive nature of breast cancer, early prevention and treatment of this disease is a high priority.

The message of Pinktober must be disseminated to the masses.

It is very important to note that people do survive. The critical factor though is early detection.

To have a loved one suffering from cancer can be emotionally and financially draining.

This is a worthwhile campaign that deserves attention and acknowledgment and

The Fiji Times has long been a very strong supporter of this breast cancer awareness campaign.

For all those who make an effort to be a part of this worthy cause, you do make a difference.

Acknowledgment is due as we near the end of Pinktober month.

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