12039612_560034844143780_3858390087222367077_n12063809_560035010810430_6650017418481414186_nI can’t believe it’s almost a year ago since I did the Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon with my mom, brother and best friend. If you are wondering why we were pouting in the photo with our pink lips, we were doing that in support of breaking a world record for the most people who applied lipstick at the same time, at the same event. Avon Justine will yet again attempt to break that record this year, so all the entrants who are taking part in the walk are encouraged to apply pink lipstick at the walk and share their selfies on social media with the hashtag #PoutForAPurpose.

1779751_560030867477511_910344029683799947_n12046576_560030917477506_4273031164245381862_n12143164_560050907475507_7702681917095818675_n12063783_560051014142163_5688969343297057408_n1610809_560050997475498_4451167726716347938_nI’ve done this walk a number of times and really enjoy it every year. I love seeing the groups of people who support each other along the walk, those who are dressed up in fun outfits and are in high spirits for the day, and those who carry posters or have photos printed on their shirts of the family members they have lost to cancer, and who they are honouring by doing the walk.

The walk is about more than pink lips and pouting, it’s about spreading the word that early detection saves lives.

The objective of the Avon Justine iThemba Crusade of Hope programme is to ensure that the message that early detection saves lives is spread across the country so that women know the importance of breast health and having their annual mammograms as well as undertaking their monthly self-examinations. Through the various strategic partnerships with NGOs as well as the iThemba Walkathon Avon Justine has been able to reach over fifteen million South Africans already through media publicity and is working towards reaching twenty million by the end of the year. “It is estimated that with early detection, over 30% of deaths due to breast cancer can be prevented, and events such as the Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon are a great way to spread the message that early detection really does save lives,” say Vicky Saunders-Flaherty, from Avon Justine.

This year’s walk is the 11th annual one which will take place on 23 October at Marks Park. The walk started out over a decade ago with just around 500 entrants and has subsequently grown to an incredible 25 500 entrants who took part in the 2015 walk. Avon Justine would like to see 30 000 entrants take part in the walk so make sure you get your tickets ASAP because they sell out quite quickly.

All the details about the walk can be found on the iThemba Walkathon website http://ithembawalkathon.co.za/. You can also follow the iThemba Walkathon Facebook page for updates on the walk, as well as the following hashtags #iThembawalk2016 and #WalkForAPurpose.

Don’t forget to take your sunscreen with you on the day, paint your lips pink, have fun, and spread the word that early detection saves lives. Make sure you all do your breast checks regularly and if you are concerned about anything, go to the doctor sooner rather than later.