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History

The cancer project was born in 2002 in response to an appeal by Mrs. Beverley Arthur, patron of the Breast Screening Programme of the Barbados Cancer Society to Hon. George Griffith, Consul General of Barbados at New York.

The severity and rising number of deaths attributable to breast cancer, the high cost of mammography and the need for a low-cost mammography-screening programme were outlined. Assistance was being sought to address the problem and advance the work of the Barbados Cancer Society.

With the blessing and patronage of the Hon. Billie A. Miller, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, the Consulate proceeded to elicit the support and involvement of the Barbadian community and the Barbados Country Team partners in New York to present a programme entitled “Screening for Life,” comprising an educational Town Hall meeting and a fundraising dinner and dance. The Council of Barbadian Organizations in New York (CBONY) generously loaned the funds required to defray the start-up cost of the first event .The first two years of Screening for Life focused on Breast and Prostate Cancer respectively.

In 2004 the twin event was renamed the “Barbados Cancer Benefit” to broaden the scope beyond screening and to facilitate outreach for various forms of cancer. The benefit that year focused on pediatric cancer.

In 2005, under the leadership of Consul General Jessica C. Odle, the ad hoc planning team was reconstitutedas the Barbados Cancer Association USA (BACA), Inc. and registered as a not-for-profit organization with 501 ( c ) 3 status. Multiple Myeloma  was the focus of that year’s event.

Over the past five years the educational Town Hall Meeting in collaboration with the Caribbean American Medical & Scientific Association and the Barbados Nurses’ Association of America Inc. presented a series of discussions utilizing the expertise of health care professionals from Barbados and the USA as well as the testimonies of cancer survivors and their families.

BACA is reflective of a highly cooperative and collaborative relationship, which embraces the strengths and expertise of the Consulate General, the Barbadian community in New York and  Barbados and the corporate sector. The tremendous goodwill displayed by all players augurs well for the awareness and growth of the “Barbados Cancer Benefit” as a vehicle of advocacy against cancer.