Nassau, April 12, 2022 – Bahamas Hope Challenge (BHC) announced today that its 2022 event held in Eleuthera last month brought in more than $275,000. The funds will support the organisation’s flagship programs and go a long way to help Bahamians in their fight against cancer.
Calling the March event a huge success BHC Executive Director and Co-founder Susan Larson said, “we are so grateful to our participants who put in that extra effort to elevate their fundraising. Their work really paid off!”
Founded in 2006 as Ride for Hope Bahamas, BHC exists to transform the fight against cancer. Using a win-win model, the organisation combines the generous philanthropic spirit of many corporate partners, the enthusiasm of repeat and new participants, and the incredible contribution of volunteers to host its annual fundraising event each Spring. Corporate cash and in-kind donations underwrite the entire cost of the Eleuthera event and volunteers put in 12-14 hour days to make sure everything runs smoothly. These make way for participants to cycle, run or walk distances of their own choosing and raise money from friends and family while they do — with 100% of all the money they raise going to programs, a gold standard in the nonprofit world.
“We’re deeply grateful for the generosity of the Bahamas Hope Challenge community — the passion our corporate partners, participants, and volunteers bring to help us reach lofty goals is really quite special,” said Larson. “They’ve not only helped us raise more than a quarter million dollars. They’re doing their part to help build hope and resources for Bahamians fighting cancer. They’ve helped save lives.”
Leading corporate generosity for the third year in a row was RBC Capital Markets. Their pace-setting support earned them the title of Presenting Sponsor. Still, two weeks before the event, they doubled their contribution to honour the life and memory of a colleague who lost her fight against breast cancer in 2021. “We were honoured and deeply moved that RBC Capital Markets chose to remember their colleague in this way,” Larson said.
BHC’s two flagship programs, funded solely through the efforts of participants at the annual Challenge, are the Family Island Mammogram Screening (FIMS) Program and the Treatment Assistance Fund. Both are unique.
FIMS was established to battle the tragically high incidence of breast cancer in The Bahamas. At no cost to the beneficiaries, FIMS brings women from under-served Family Islands to New Providence. They are transported to the Cancer Caring Centre and given a presentation on wellness and health risks. The women are then transferred to Doctors’ Hospital where they get their mammogram. For many participants this may be the first step they take in their personal health journey. By day’s end the women are flown back home filled with knowledge, camaraderie, a renewed sense that their health is a priority, and that others indeed care.
Like many places in the world, the cost of cancer treatment in The Bahamas is extremely high. The deposits to simply begin chemotherapy or radiation are in the thousands of dollars. The situation is compounded by the high number of people who do not have major medical insurance – especially in the Family Islands. Tragically, many Bahamians decide not to fight their cancer because of the financial stress it will bring to their families. To the great sorrow of their loved ones, they go home to live out the time they have.
BHC’s Treatment Assistance Fund provides cash to Bahamians who struggle to pay for diagnostic imaging and/or chemotherapy and radiation. It is The Bahamas’ only permanently established cancer treatment assistance fund.
The annual Bahamas Hope Challenge enables participants to be a part of something very meaningful, to contribute to something far bigger than themselves. Looking forward, BHC aims to harness their energy and enthusiasm, expand the event significantly and see its long-term vision come to life – building hope and resources to reframe the fight against cancer for all Bahamians.