CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank hosted its fifth annual lapathon at the Emancipation Park, Kingston, on Sunday, October 30, partnering with the Jamaica Cancer Society (JCS) and customers, sponsors and the friends of employees of the bank to raise funds in support of the fight against cancer. Since 2012, CIBC FirstCaribbean has collectively raised over US$1m across the region through the annual ‘Walk For the Cure’ hosted in partnership with cancer societies in the 17 islands in which the bank operates. Addressing participants at the 2016 ‘Walk For The Cure’ in Jamaica, the bank’s managing Director, Nigel Holness, noted that the funds raised have been “put to good use supporting early detection, care, raising awareness of cancer and research”. He thanked survivors like Mrs Debra Reid Gibbs, who spoke at the event, for “helping to take the veil off this disease” by sharing their stories. Noting that there are still lots of myths and misconceptions out there, Holness said “we encourage you to continue to do your part to educate and support our fellow Jamaicans”, and called on all lapathon participants to go beyond participation in ‘Walk For The Cure’ by becoming advocates for increased awareness and increased testing. Holness said that those who have already been touched by cancer, are supporting someone in their fight, or lost a loved one, should “honour these warriors by doing what we can to protect ourselves and others. “Let’s be aggressive about this and let us keep up the fight against this dreaded disease until a cure is found”, he declared. In her remarks, Mrs Reid Gibbs said that when she was first diagnosed with cancer, her husband said “we are going to conquer this”. She told participants at the lapathon, “you must believe that the cure is inside you and you will get over this.” In thanking CIBC First-Caribbean for their “tremendous contributions in the fight against cancer”, Yulit Gordon, executive director of the JCS, said, “We are able to provide expanded services through your generosity and we are seeing the positive results. Mrs Gordon said that as a result of increased education and advocacy and screening funded by CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank and other sponsors, the survival rates for cancer are much higher than 20-30 years ago.