SHARJAH, -- At the end of a 10-day campaign, the 7th Pink Caravan Ride (PCR) broke its previous records by offering free screenings, mammograms and expert medical advice to 7,108 people, the highest in its seven-year history.

The numbers include 5,991 women and 1,117 men, of which 1,583 were Emiratis and 5570 were residents, who were received at 123 clinics operating in seven emirates by a team of 65 medical experts.

The closing ceremony was held at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development; Scott Charles Bolz, US embassy representative; Jassim Al Bloushi, Head of Organisational Excellence at Sharjah Islamic Bank; Nada Askar, Director-General of the Sharjah Women Sports Foundation; and Dr. Mai Al Jaber, Deputy Medical Director at Healthpoint Abu Dhabi, Specialist Public Health Medicine.

"Everyone who is present here epitomises the deepening community awareness and passionate community development, and I am glad to be part of this celebration. I thank H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah; and his wife, Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Founder and Royal Patron of the Friends of Cancer Patients, International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC), and International Ambassador for Childhood Cancer for UICC, for their desire and glorious efforts in developing the health of the UAE's society in the most practical and effective ways. In the PCR's efforts, the vision of the UAE's wise leadership is clearly reflected," Sheikh Al Nahyan said.

"The 7th PCR did not just unite the nation, it united our hearts. In the UAE's Year of Giving, we believe that this was our biggest contribution to the PCR spirit of humanitarianism. Many of you may think that we meet tonight to conclude the Pink Caravan Ride. In fact, we are all here to renew our spirits for another march of hope," said Reem bin Karam, Chairperson of the Higher Organising Committee of the PCR.

"My beloved sister, the late Ameera bin Karam, established this year's slogan, "7 Years for 7 Emirates", and sowed the seeds for this seventh campaign before her passing. Every day, we enjoy the fruits of her compassionate spirit. It is due to her relentless efforts that the PCR has today become a unique national example of community engagement, health and social dialogue for the uplifting of society. We dedicate this year's achievements to her golden spirit," she added.

The closing ceremony was attended by prominent UAE figures and VIPs, and also brought together all volunteers, the medical, events, equine, logistics and sports committees, and everyone else that contributed in any way to the event. A 10-minute short film that captured the essence of the year's journey across the seven emirates, the raising of awareness about breast cancer and the encouraging of people to come forward and get screened, was shown.

For their final horseback journey on Friday, the riders set off at Ikea Yas Island and travelled 11.7 kilometres to reach the finish line at Zayed Sports City. The last fundraiser, Pink Strides, a 7-kilometre walkathon, was held at Zayed Sports City and received great participation by the general public. The walk was broken up into three rounds, where participants received white, silver and pink bands upon the completion of each round.

The 7th PCR witnessed many firsts. Seven fixed clinics were inaugurated in the seven emirates, which offered free screenings to 2,699 patients. Their charity fundraiser, Pink Bite, sold one burger for US$10,000, the highest amount of money ever paid for a burger. A children's ride was organised for the first time in the campaign's history, to sensitise youth about the risks and remedies of cancer from an early age.

Source: Emirates News Agency