On Wednesday afternoon I visited the Pink Room – it was a first for me. Naturally being nosey I had a vague idea of what it was all about and had heard it’s use had been given free to the Carrera por la Vida Foundation – Walk for Life, by Adeje Council, but I didn’t know the ins and outs.
As it turned out it is a space where people affected by cancer can meet, talk, relax, and be themselves. A place where illness does not get in the way of everyday life. I immediately felt welcome and accepted by those who were visiting that day.
The room is open every Wednesday from 4.00 / 8.00pm and used for meetings where specialists in various fields give talks in both Spanish and English, which are always well attended. It is used for workshops where those attending make the bracelets, and check the pink bags for upcoming events and bounce around new ideas for future events. It is also there for people to share concerns, experiences and receive support from others who have or have had cancer.
Until you are personally affected by cancer you don’t realise how hard it is to find the support and strength to fight the disease. Of course it is not only the patient but their families who receive support and are able to share experiences, as all the people who help run the centre have been affected by the disease.
The reason for my visit was to donate a book called Boob are not Everything written by Facebook friends Alan and Shirley Rigby and which they gave to me on one of their visits to Tenerife.
Shirley and Alan at a family wedding.
This phenomenal couple have fought breast cancer not once but twice so really have a deep understanding of what those who are new to the disease are about to face. In fact 1 in 8 women could suffer breast cancer and need a mastectomy. The worrying thing is the number of young women that are affected each year is growing. Once through the operation it can be a huge shock to learn that the best and quickest way to recover is to wear a special bra but these cost between €90 – €120 each and of course women can’t possibly get away with just one.
Following my blog on the Bra Project that is being run by the Carrera por la Vida Foundation, Alan and Shirley decided they would send me 24 such bras as well as 3 swim suits the value of which is over €600 in the UK but here would cost in the region of a staggering €3000. I hope to take delivery of them shortly after 20th of this month and then they will join those that are already in stock at the Pink Room. Alan and Shirley will never know just thrilled the organisers are to receive this wonderful donation and I don’t have the words to express their excitement and gratitude.
So to all the ladies who need a mastectomy bra and feel they cannot afford one, they should take the note they receive from their surgeon to the Pink Room. This will recommend the size that will suit them best. There is a private area next to the room to preserve your blushes and where ladies can make sure the bra fits perfectly.
The Bra Project covers all the Canary islands not just Tenerife, so whether you are in La Gomera, Fuerteventura or any of the other islands, do call and you will get the help you need. The project is being rolled out to each of the Ayuntamientos initially on Tenerife but there is also interest from other islands. Word needs to spread that when women feel at their lowest help is available – not from some stuffy authoritarian figure but from people who have experienced what you are going through and are genuinely happy to help.
The Sala Rosa is located in the School of Safety and Coexistence, Calle Beneharo s / n, Las Nieves, Adeje, Tenerife. You can contact them every Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m by phoning +34 646 961 895 or just call in as I did and you will be made extremely welcome.
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