Monday, October 15, 2007

I was very inspired...

Dr. Tanya Soldak - Belarus

I arrived to Budapest shortly after coordinating the first breast cancer advocacy conference in my country (Republic of Belarus, in the former Soviet Union). Our landmark conference in Belarus was held on September14 and 15, and was made possible with assistance from Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

I felt very proud to be a global delegate in Budapest. I immediately felt connected to others and realized that I was establishing an important channel of communication for many women from my country to be connected with women around the world. In Belarus, women's grassroots movements are not encouraged by authorities. It is almost impossible to coordinate a public event such as a breast cancer awareness march on the street. In Belarus, therefore, women tend to be very silent about their health and often feel isolated.

In Budapest, I was very inspired as Iwalked on beautiful Pink Chain Bridge, as this was the first time in my life to join together in public with breast cancer activists. To me, the participants of this event are very famous and it was a life-changing experience. I truly hope that one day we will have a similar Pink March in Belarus to help mobilize women there.

With help from all those I met in Budapest, I hope that I will be able to coordinate this event to happen in May (pink month). Thank you to everybody for sharing your stories and caring about our situation in Belarus.

Dr. Tanya Soldak
Medical Director
Resource & Policy Exchange, Inc. (RPX)