A young church member in Medellin holds samples of the special magazine by a busy street to promote breast cancer awareness throughout North Colombia, on Oct. 19, 2019. Some 15,000 issues were distributed throughout cities and communities as part of more awareness the church throughout the Inter-American Division is focusing on this year. The magazine was designed by the Inter-American Division’s Publishing Association and provided for free throughout the territory. Photo: North Colombia Union

November 11, 2019 | Medellin, Colombia | Daniela Arrieta/IAD News Staff

Thousands of Seventh-day Adventists across North Colombia recently joined efforts to highlight Breast Cancer Awareness during a special campaign coined as “Tocate para que no te toque” or Find it before it gets you”.  Women ministries leaders and church members in general distributed 15,000 special edition magazines on Oct. 19, 2019, published this year as part of women’s ministries initiative across the Inter-American Division this year to empower women to reach other women.

“We wanted to join this impact as a church to bring about awareness and prevention of breast cancer and give a message to women as well as men, that they must take care of themselves as part of preventing the disease,” said Sara Polo de Redondo, women’s ministries director for the church in North Colombia.

According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most frequent cancer among women, impacting 2.1 million women each year, and also causes the greatest number of cancer-related deaths among women. There are 7,000 diagnosed cases of breast cancer in Colombia every year and 2,500 die from the disease each year.

Women hold signs in the streets of Medellin offering hope in the prevention of breast cancer. Photo: North Colombia Union

Throughout city streets, activities such as a demonstration of healthy foods, practical exercises to prevent the disease, spiritual and psychological counseling, walkathons, special marches, exchange of flowers for cigarettes, among others were done.

Many community leaders thanked the church for assisting others in looking for a solution to this pressing problem, church leaders said.

“I’m so thankful to the Adventist Church for this campaign that you are doing because in this way they are bringing about awareness to the population of the class of problem that we are facing today,” said Edinson Gómez, a citizen living in Medellin.

Women gather at the Central Adventist Church in Barranquilla, North Colombia during a traiing session with physicians and and medical staff from the Health Ministry Department in support of the breast cancer awareness focus the church took part in last month. Photo: Atlantic Colombian Conference

In addition, many Adventist churches took part in breast cancer awareness with health expos, free medical check-ups, and talks on how to prevent and detect breast cancer for thousands in the community.

In Barranquilla, a nearby city in the Atlantic region, there were talks where the Public Health Secretary Claudia Peña Peña praised the work of women of the church. “It is a work that must be exalted in this ministry, and it must be replicated no only in the churches but in the entire community as well,” she said.

In the meantime, Redondo said that women’s ministry leaders across North Colombia are committed to continuing with breast cancer awareness activities.

Women ministries leader teaches about drinking green juices and eating healthier to lead a healthier lifestyle during a health expo during the breast cancer awareness day on Oct. 19, 2019, in Medellin, Colombia. Photo: North Colombia Union

To learn more about the Adventist Church in North Colombia, its activities and initiatives, visit unioncolombiana.org

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