Mission born from ‘power of love’

Pinktober for this year is coming to an end in a couple of days.

But a strong woman who has become the face of Pinktober in Samoa, Manamea Apelu Schwalger, will continue her crusade to help others.

One of the tools she is using to reach out to people is the Miss Samoa Alumni.

During a press conference held at Orator Hotel yesterday, Manamea was accompanied by 2007 and 2012 Miss Samoa, Sherry Elekana and Janine Tuivati. 

“The Miss Samoa Alumni was born out of the power of love,” Manamea said. 

“It was initiated by someone dear to my heart, Vaito’a Toelupe who wanted to fundraise for me. However, I had a totally different plan. I wanted to offer help to other people fighting the same battle. 

“Especially to people who don’t have the ability and the resources that is available for me. 

“I am fortunate, to say the least, with the full support given by friends and families and I want to offer this assistance to others who are battling the same fight as me. 

“I meet people at this hospital and I know they need help, help that is available to me and I want to share it with the less fortunate. 

“I am so privileged up until this very moment,” said Manamea. 

She said Vaito’a partnered with Events Marketing and Distribution owned by Kevin Schuster. 

“So they agreed that whatever they fundraised will be donated to the Samoa Cancer Society which is dear to my heart.” 

According to Manamea, the Samoa Cancer Society has a lot of mandates, however because of the lack of resources it makes their calling a little difficult. 

“Samoa Cancer Society is a national resource center for cancer patients. It’s not a hospital and they don’t work towards a cure, they offer counselling for cancer patients. 

“Their campaign, promotion of early detection, has three key messages: vave iloa, vave vaai se foma’i and vave vili mai,” said Manamea. 

She said the launch of the LIFE Con by E.M.D. in June instigated the think pink idea. 

“They were behind the campaign and bringing the former Miss Samoas together. And fast forward today initiate the Miss Samoa Alumni that was launched this week.” In June 2017, the first time, eight former holders of the Miss Samoa crown were part of the campaign. 

“They made a promise to return to Samoa in October which is in line with Breast Cancer Awareness Month and to color Samoa pink. “We successfully did that with the support of the Government and allowing us to paint our most iconic landmark in the heart of Apia, the Town Clock. 

“The significance of the pink clock is time. Time is of the essence. There is no time for late stages; as they are not afforded the opportunity to go off island to get treatment. 

“Unlike me, I was so privileged to travel out of the island for treatment.”

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