For the second year, VOC took its annual Pink Hijab Day initiative to Masjidul Quds in Gatesville, where almost 1000 women gave a voice to the fight against cancer. Tuesday’s event was the 6th annual Pink Hijab Day project, which aims to bring much needed awareness to cancer, especially amongst women.
A young woman, Humairah Jassat, aged 17 at the time, founded Pink Hijab Day in South Africa after her aunt succumbed to breast cancer. Once her family had been affected by the disease, she realised that cancer was much more prevalent in her community. By adopting the Global Pink Hijab Day initiative, Jassat was able to inspire thousands of locals to join in and support the worthy cause.
Through the duration of the event, women came forward to share their stories with the audience. Mariam Baderoen from the Masjidul Quds Women’s Council shared her inspiring journey of her courageous fight against cancer.
“I was diagnosed with cancer eighteen years ago and I also have a sister with breast cancer, yet every day I say shukr to Allah for granting me such a long life even after my diagnosis,” Baderoen added.
While the event was aimed at allowing women from all works of life to come together for one common cause, it also aimed to raise funds for cancer through selling cupcakes and items. On Tuesday, supporters also donated toys to cancer patients at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital.
Doctors were on hand at the event to provide a free examination to the attendee, some of whom had never been examined before. The goal of this was to highlight the importance of early detection.
For cancer patients and family members needed some moral support, counsellors from the Reach for Recovery Centre was also present at the event. The centre provides all those who have been affected by cancer the support they need from the moment of detection throughout their treatment.
From first detection, with the permission of the individual, a group of breast cancer survivors offer their support and understanding to those who have been diagnosed by the disease along with their loved ones. The centre’s Dee Jacobs said Pink Hijab Day affords women the opportunity to share their journey with others who are familiar with the hurdles in the fight against cancer.
“We do not offer support in a clinical sense but we are women who have been diagnosed with different forms of cancer and use those experiences to help others on their journey,” Jacobs explained.
While medical doctors offered free examinations, foods, accessories, scarves and many other items were on sale, to raise funds to local organisations fighting cancer. All the women in attendance, dressed in pink and white, revealed how cancer has affected both the patient and their families. It was a day to relax and unwind, shed a tear and also laugh the troubles away with the help of resident Imaam at Masjidul Quds, Sheikh Abduragmaan Alexander.
Sheikh Alexander spoke of the significance of Muharram, and related the story of the Prophet Yunus (as) and the whale, comparing it to the fight against cancer. He also touched on the importance of loving each other for the sake of Allah, instilling hope and positivity in the hearts of many affected by the disease. VOC (Ra’eesah Isaacs)