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Lunar Walk for breast cancer turns virtual this year

Eyleen Gomez

The Lunar Walk an annual event that brings together men and women wearing pink bras, dogs on leashes and survivors walking with their families will be a virtual walk this year.

This is another major event in the Gibraltar calendar that has fallen foul of Covid-19 and the need to social distance.

Usually held in late June on a Friday night at midnight this year the Lunar Walk will be held whenever a supporter wants during May 25 to June 25. All anyone has to do is pay their donation of £5 and walk 5km whenever they are able to do so.

“We have decided to change the way we normally do the walk this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Shereen Pizzarello from Lunar Walk organisers Breast Cancer Support Gibraltar.

“We don't want to encourage large groups of people clustered together, as that is what naturally happens at Casemates, especially the hour leading up to the start.”

“So we wanted a safe way of sharing awareness for Breast Cancer, that still gets the community involved but adhering to Covid-19 safety guidelines.”

The charity has given a month for completion because it became aware that people have different routines at the moment, especially with those working from home.

Aside from the unity felt at the annual Lunar Walk the event is also about raising awareness. The message of being breast aware also forms part of this year’s virtual walk.

“We aren't really expecting any concrete numbers as such, but we are hoping that this at least shares the awareness for people to get breast aware, stay on top of their screening appointments and the more we get people talking online, the more we hope people will spare five minutes to heed advice to ‘Touch, Look and Check’,” said Ms Pizzarello.

In addition to taking part and donating participants are encouraged to nominate others to also sign up, take part and donate.

“Fundraising is incredibly important, not only this year, but every year, so that we can support Gibraltar's community in every way that we can,” said Ms Pizzarello.

“In 2020, the charity was able to donate £30,000 to the Covid fund and £15,420 to a Paxman Cooling Cap both of which not only aids Breast Cancer patients, but the wider community and we are incredibly proud that every penny raised in Gibraltar stays in Gibraltar.”

Despite the event being virtual the organisers are still looking at different ways to get everyone engaged with the Lunar Walk spirit of fun and togetherness while being socially distant adhering to the Covid-19 safety measures.

One way it are doing this is through getting the participants to post their images and videos of their walks to its Facebook Page (Breast Cancer Support Gibraltar) or via WhatsApp to +350 5401273.

“Everyone please send those in,” Ms Pizzarello said.

The charity is also set to launch an initiative where its members will chat to local businesses to see if there can be a collaboration through merchandising and sponsorship opportunities.

“Which will hopefully generate that buzz that we will miss at this year's Lunar Walk,” said Ms Pizzarello.

The charity does have Breast Cancer Support Gibraltar t-Shirts for sale for £10 should anyone like to wear them on their walk.

On how Covid-19 affected the charity, Ms Pizzarello said: “We were a little concerned reference Screenings, as naturally a lot of Gibraltar's resources were funnelled into Covid.”

“But we organised an online marketing campaign, after consulting with the Breast Care Team, advising that if anyone did find any changes, lumps, etc to go to the doctors, so hopefully that gave many in our community that peace of mind during the lockdown.”

Donations to Breast Cancer Support Gibraltar can be done via Bank Transfer, Natwest App or Revolut via +350 54012731.