Acting Prime Minister, Papali’itele Niko Lee Hang, has hailed the bravery of cancer survivor, Manamea Apelu Tuiletufuga Saaga Schwalger.
He has described her as a “courageous fighter” and a “surviving breast cancer patient who is revered as a catalyst in raising public awareness against the dreaded disease.”
The compliment from the Acting Prime Minister honours Manamea’s leading role in the Samoa Cancer Society’s Pinktober campaign to encourage women to seek medical checks for early detection of breast cancer.
Manamea was among hundreds of people who marched on Beach Road yesterday for Pinktober.
In addressing the crowd, Papali’i said: “I would like to read part of a letter to the editor published in local daily and penned by Manamea Apelu Tuiletufuga Saaga Schwalger.
“She needs no introduction as we all know her as a courageous fighter and surviving breast cancer patient who is revered as a catalyst in raising public awareness of the dreaded disease.
“She wrote; ‘I won’t lose faith, and speaking of which, I would like to say, being a daughter of Samoa, I was raised to fully understand that everything begins and ends with God.
“My late grandmother Taupatupatu To’omalatai Tuiletufuga Saaga who died of breast cancer puts a whole new meaning of putting the fear of God into you - but I digress.
“After all, this country is founded on God and I do know that God is the ultimate doctor. Absolutely.”
“Manamea’s conviction as a role model through the Cancer Society’s breast cancer prevention message through early detection is the key is commendable.
“It’s an understatement to assume that Manamea’s bravery serves a leading example.
“As our Acting Prime Minister has stressed our people must heed Manamea’s pleas and the Samoan Cancer Society complimented by our Health Sector early prevention is through early detection.”
Ironically, Manamea and the Samoa Cancer Society’s Pintober’s call for ‘Early detection is the key,’ is not in vain.
Reiterated Acting Prime Minister Papali’itele from the podium;“Government continues to search for latest treatment available for our cancer patients.
“For instance your government is looking at a permanent cost effective arrangement for our cancer patients to receive the latest state of the art treatments available in India.
“As your Acting Prime Minister I encourage citizens, government agencies, private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and all other interested groups to join in activities that will increase awareness of what Samoans can do to prevent breast cancer.
“I will fail in my duties if I do not commend the Samoa Cancer Society, her stakeholders and supporters for this patriotic initiative. And rest assured government is not sitting on its laurels and we hear and appreciate your cries, and concerns.
“It’s about saving lives.”
Throughout this month, the Samoa Cancer Society will be hosting a number of events to highlight their Pinktober message, “Early Detection is the Key.”