The Pualele Outrigger Canoe Club dedicated the second leg of its 2016 Saoluafata Challenge to one of their club members battling breast cancer.
Leilani Curry, a former columnist for the Samoa Observer and Outreach Support Officer at S.P.R.E.P, revealed her battle with cancer with a Facebook post on Sei Pua Day.
“Celebrating Sei Pua Day and Pinktober in Canberra as I prepare to begin chemotherapy treatment next week for breast cancer,” she wrote.
“I’m so afraid of the chemicals they’ll be pumping into my heart to help heal me, but I know I’ll be benefitting from the medical research which has advanced cancer care and success rates of remission.”
Leilani wrote that she missed home so much and it is “hard to believe just a few weeks ago I was living my beautiful life in Samoa oblivious of the disease within me.”
“I’m really learning so much about how one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, a cancer that can be treated successfully if caught in time.”
Leilani also had a message for everyone.
“Ladies, girls, make it a priority to check yourselves this Pinktober,” she wrote.
“Men, boys, encourage the women you love, mothers, sisters, wives, girlfriends and daughters, to check themselves this Pinktober. Support Samoa’s Cancer Council fundraising efforts for Sei Pua day everyone.”
Last Saturday was the second leg of Pualele’s 42km Saoluafata Series Challenge 2016.
The Challenge started two Saturdays ago when paddlers in V6 canoes raced from inside the Taumeasina lagoon towards Saoluafata.
The second stage of the race last Saturday saw paddlers tackle the waves from Saoluafata to Falefa Waterfall and back.
In honour of Leilani, all the paddlers wore pink.
The third and final leg is scheduled for this Saturday when the canoes will set off from Saoluafata towards Taumeasina.
The Saoluafata Challenge is part of the Club’s preparations for the 10th anniversary of the Savai’i Crossing next year.