Guyanese H.E.R.O.C. keeps cancer survivors/thrivers safe from COVID-19

Lorna Welshman-Neblett, president of HEROC addresses an audience at a past fundraising event in Brooklyn.
Courtesy Lorna Welshman-Neblett

Despite this being the second year, the Health Education Relief Organization for Cancer (HEROC) has not raised funds and highlight the organizations mission, via the Making Strides walk due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, President Lorna Welshman-Neblett and her team are determined more than ever to “Give Cancer the Boot,” — the group’s slogan.

Welshman-Neblett, a Guyanese-American award-winning community leader, who has led the non-profit since its inception in 2004, told Caribbean Life she continues to worked towards helping to keep cancer patients safe throughout the pandemic, adding that the organization advises and recommends that cancer patients put their safety first, during the coronavirus pandemic, since their immune systems could be easily compromised.

“H.E.R.O.C. has conducted cancer missions to Guyana for four years in a row until the pandemic of 2020 halted its plans for the fifth year. However, being concerned for the Thrivers and Survivors, we organized a special gift bag for them during October 2020 keeping the required protocol in place,” she said.

“Each of them received masks, hand sanitizer, hand soap, hand wipes, and gloves. This was done with the hope that we will resume our mission in October 2021 and to our surprise, we are still not able to travel.”

“Our sister organization in Guyana has created events for this year and once again with protocols in place,” she said, adding “that there are a number of events planned for the month of October including a motorcade culminating on Oct. 30, 2021.”

“We advised our Thrivers and Survivors to avoid crowded areas and wash their hands thoroughly, eat healthy, in addition to taking vitamin C boosters.”

“H.E.R.O.C. inspires all women to stay healthy in many ways, and especially, during this time of uncertainty. Early Detection Saves Lives, and we are adamant about women following up with their doctors for early screenings. We do have a number of men in the Team, and we advise them also that they too require early screening for prostate cancer and to encourage other men to do the same,” said the humanitarian.

The hardest decision the group has had to make this year is not to be able to conduct “our Mission to Guyana and to embrace and support our Thrivers and Survivors, at home,” said the philanthropist.

“This has saddened all our members, as this is our signature event of the year, and one that every supporter looks forward to,” said the benevolent lady, who explained that “The Giving Hope Foundation” headed by Oncologist, Dr. Latoya Gooding continues to work diligently to give Thrivers and Survivors hope.

“I would like to tell all women to pay strict attention to their bodies. Any unusual signs you see get to your doctor. They may not all be cancer, but it is better to get checked. We continue to emphasize that early detection is very important,” said Welshman-Neblett, who is hopeful that 2022 will bring hope and promise to persons with cancer, as scientist fight for a cure.

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