JEDDAH: Moral and emotional support have major roles to play in women’s fight against breast cancer, a leading Saudi sports and fitness coach said. RK Fit owner and calisthenics coach Reham Kamal was one of three female fitness experts who organized a “Fit Fighters” event at Le pont De L’amitie in Jeddah on Saturday to aid women battling the effects of the illness.
A portion of the entry fees for the sports and entertainment event will also be donated to the Zahra Breast Cancer Association.
“Moral support is needed because when patients receive news that they have breast cancer, they experience shock. Along with physical treatment, moral support plays a major role in the healing process,” Kamal told Arab News.
“Patients sometimes go through depression, become dissatisfied with life and refuse treatment. They don’t want to accept that there is no more life ahead,” she added.
Kamal said that it was common for women to feel they had lost a part of their femininity after a mastectomy, for example.
“We support them through sports activities since sport helps emotional well-being,” she said.
“Also, they have to be around people, they need to feel that they have positive energy and love life. Positive energy is part of the treatment and will help them overcome obstacles.
“As long as a person has the will and determination to get better, the treatment will benefit them.”
Kamal also urged women to have regular health examinations. The success rate of treatment with early detection is higher than 90 percent, she said.
Mashael Fagerah, owner of the fitness studio House of Agility, said that exercise helps boosts self-esteem among breast cancer fighters and survivors.
“Taking care of your health and exercising are essential, especially for breast cancer fighters or survivors,” she told Arab News.
“Exercising isn’t only about having a great body, it also has a lot to do with mental health. It makes a person feel at ease.”
Fagerah said that events such as Fit Fighters offered much-needed moral support.
“When breast cancer fighters see that people are with them, it plays a significant role in their self-esteem. Events such as this are enough for them to feel motivated.”
Ghaidaa Mandourah, owner of Ghaidaa Mandourah Fitness Center, said that sport provides a “first solution” to many problems in people’s lives.
“It can heal, manage and assist in many things. Today we are standing with these fighters and encouraging them. There is no stronger power than the one that comes from within,” she said.
Wed Al-Salamah, administrative manager at Zahra Breast Cancer Association, thanked the organizers of the event for their support during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“It is heart-warming that they took the time to organize the event and support breast cancer fighters,” she said.
Al-Salamah said that the event raised awareness of the importance of early detection examinations.
“Our slogan this year is ‘More than 90 percent,’ which explains that the rate of success for treatment is more than 90 percent if breast cancer is detected early,” she said.
Several sponsors of the event also made donations to Zahra Breast Cancer Association. These included Mermaid Salon & Spa, photographer Rawah Mira, Golden Protein and Diablo: Devilishly Good Treats.