Commonwealth Points of Light Awardee, Dorothy Phillip, believes the level of assistance and support provided to cancer patients in Saint Lucia is very poor.
Phillip, who founded the group ‘Faces of Cancer’ here, says there is a lot more that can be done for cancer patients, especially when it comes to fundraising and business places helping out.
“We don’t get that assistance,” she observed in a telephone interview with Journalist, Timothy Poleon during Newsspin, which is aired on Real FM.
“Even when we decide to do all these fundraisers to try and get money to help people, it’s a hassle trying to get people to donate,” Phillip noted.
“I think we are in a community where people always look at ‘What’s in it for me,’” the Faces of Cancer Founder lamented.
She expressed the view that people have become a little selfish.
“The whole thing is to try to make people selfless and volunteer. Even when we ask for volunteers, we see people coming in and after a month they come no more,” Phillip explained.
She also observed that people make commitments, but when they are called upon they beg off.
“What we find is that when people have people that have passed or have cancer, they always want to help – they want to do this; they want to do that, and a month or two passes by – you don’t hear from them anymore. I guess it is so with everything else in life, but our whole aim is to try and keep them going.”
Phillip explained that it was for that reason that a family environment is created within Faces of Cancer.
“I try to keep people together – like we have social events; we have beach parties; we come together. Some members just come in the office because they have nothing to do today. They come in and we do things together, so it becomes more of a family for us,” she told Newsspin.
Phillip said the objective is to get people proactive and participate in Faces of Cancer.
She disclosed that even when patients are visited, it becomes a big social event.
“Now that we have our 8-seater, we pack it up with people and we just make it an event for us to go out and visit somebody with cancer – bring stuff for them and so on,” Phillip stated.
Herself a cancer survivor having been diagnosed with the illness in 2009, Phillip founded ‘Faces of Cancer’, to support patients and their families through the trauma of cancer.
The group now helps over 200 members in a number of ways – from financial and emotional support to free screening programmes, accompanying patients to appointments and providing counselling.
His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen, presented Phillip with her Commonwealth Points of Light award on Sunday as part of his official visit to Saint Lucia.
The honour was bestowed for her exceptional voluntary service supporting cancer patients and their families in Saint Lucia.