Digicel Samoa joins cancer fight

By Deidre Tautua-Fanene ,

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Digicel Samoa launched a cancer awareness programme coinciding with Pinktober at their headquarters in Apia yesterday.

And they had a very special guest. He was none other than Digicel’s Brand Ambassador and World heavyweight champion, Lupesoliai La’auli Joseph Parker.

Also present was Dr. Malama Tafuna’i and Cancer survivor, Stella Lemisio.

Chief Executive Officer of Digicel, Farid Mohammed, said the initiative is to educate the staff on healthy living.

“As a company we have created this team that is now responsible for driving health awareness and activities that promote healthy living and work life balance,” he told the Weekend Observer.

“So it sort of coincided with Pinktober so we thought why not launch this awareness programme now.”

The C.E.O added this was just the beginning of many things to support his staff members towards healthy living.

“This will not be the only time that we will be doing this, it is the beginning of a journey to support our staff towards healthy living, getting awareness of non-communicable diseases.

“We will not only be doing this internally, but we are taking this external as well, so we’ve got the visit to the Children’s Ward with Joseph Parker where we show our support to the Cancer Society and the children.

“So it’s just sharing our corporate responsibility overall with the public.”

In the hopes of creating awareness and an understanding in identifying the signs for early detection and prevention for their staff, Digicel invited Dr. Malama Tafunai to enlighten their employees about the seriousness of any type of cancer, gave insights on the different stages and its development as well as prevention steps. Moreover, to be mindful of the emotional and physical experience people with the disease go through on a daily basis

Lupesoliai Joseph Parker with Dr. Malama Tafuna'i.
Lupesoliai Joseph Parker with Dr. Malama Tafuna'i.
The champ with Cancer Survivor Stella Lemisio.
The champ with Cancer Survivor Stella Lemisio.
ALL IN PINK: Lupesoliai Joseph Parker with the Digicel family and representatives of the Samoa Cancer Society.
ALL IN PINK: Lupesoliai Joseph Parker with the Digicel family and representatives of the Samoa Cancer Society.

Dr. Malama Tafuna’i is a Senior Clinical Lecture at N.U.S. School of Medicine.

Cancer survivor, Stella Lemisio, also had the opportunity to encourage the Digicel staff of the importance of early detection because it saved her life.

She spoke on her journey in her battle and how it has affected her life personally.

Staff members were moved and with some shedding tears, Stella’s personal reflection changed the mood from a staff event to a moment where hearts turned towards home as they remember their loved ones who have passed away and ones that are still battling.

Even Lupesoliai was moved.

“Thanks to Dr. Malama, as well as Stella, for the information we received today (yesterday), it has helped me and all of us to be more aware of cancer and how we can prevent it,” he said.

The event was followed by a visit from Lupesoliai and Digicel staff members to the Pediatric Ward where they presented gifts to the kids.

Four year old Jayden Roebeck, who is diagnosed with leukemia had just returned back from New Zealand for treatment, was among the kids who had no knowledge about the surprise visit. 

“It was a great treat for Jayden, he is a big fan of Joseph Parker so he was really happy that he got to take photos with him” Jayden’s mother said.

Lupesoliai said it was a pleasure.

“It was a real humble experience for me to come last year and visit the kids just before Christmas,” he said. “So coming over this time, I knew I wanted to visit them again. It’s always great to come back and have Digicel’s support in organizing things like this. There is nothing more rewarding than to see the smile on these young kids faces with these simple gestures.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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