* At the Teal Society's first anniversary celebration in Qatar recently, the plan for ‘Walk With Teal,’ a virtual 5km walk campaign was also revealed
The Teal Society, a Los Angeles-based non-profit organisation working to raise awareness about gynaecological cancers, recently marked its first anniversary in Qatar by inviting some influential and popular social media personalities.
Abiding by the Covid-19 precaution rules and regulations, the celebration welcomed a select gathering including a number of Qatar’s top industry influencers and social media personalities which included Joujou Alfardan, Johara al-Suwaidi, Zarina Mohamed, Mari Pearce, Yezenia Navarro, and Hamad al-Amari at Boho Social Restaurant.
The anniversary celebration included the announcement of the upcoming virtual 5km walk campaign – Walk With Teal – and The Teal Totes which are self-care bags which will be sent out to gynaecological cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. The ‘Walk With Teal’ campaign will launch mid-May and it encourages those who support gynaecological cancer awareness to record themselves completing a 5km walk in any location they prefer and sending it in to stitch it along with the fellow supporters of the campaign. The Teal Society is even offering a campaign T-shirt which one can wear and dedicate his or her walk to a specific person, group, or establishment.
Talking to Gulf Times on the occasion, founder of The Teal Society Nicole Alexander, aka Nickii Jean, said that the idea of a 501c3 organisation (Section 501c3 is the portion of the US Internal Revenue Code that allows for federal tax exemption of non-profit organisations) was created after her mother died of vaginal cancer back in 2007. “Initially, the organisation was launched as ‘Walking For Mummy’ in Pasadena, California in 2014 but was rebranded to The Teal Society in late 2018 to fit the global mission of raising awareness about the various forms of gynaecological cancers and creating a supportive community worldwide.”
In response to a question about what the society has accomplished in its first year in Qatar, the Doha-based US behavioural therapist and entrepreneur said: “We decided to launch on March 8, 2020 in celebration of the International Women’s Day and since then we’ve received a tremendous amount of positive feedback from the community in Qatar as well as abroad. Despite the pandemic, we’ve managed to carry out a number of activities to help raise awareness and create a buzz about normalising the conversation about gynaecological cancer. Our activations varied from digital campaigns to charity brunches and toy drives for the orphanages in various countries outside of the Middle East.”
Regarding the challenges thrown by the pandemic, the cancer awareness campaigner said: “Surprisingly, the pandemic has managed to be a positive impact on our society. We were involuntarily challenged to adapt to a norm that was far-fetched from the imagination. We managed to create a supportive community, grow in relations virtually with people locally and internationally, as well as educate the community on the topic and divert women to getting checked. Early detection is the key, and we’ve managed to accomplish that.”
Talking about her society’s future plans and ongoing projects, Nickii said: “Without spilling the beans, we can say that there’s a lot more to come and look forward to! The goal of ‘Walk With Teal’ is to unify those who are directly and indirectly affected by any of the forms of gynaecological cancer. Creating a supportive community near and far is a crucial part of our DNA as a non-profit organisation and this is only the beginning of many more to come. Our aim is to uplift one another through these difficult times and uphold our integrity as a supportive community.
“We’re launching our first 5km virtual walk in May, where we encourage people from around the globe to participate in the event to support those who are undergoing chemotherapy or have undergone chemotherapy for any of the various gynaecological cancers.”
She added: “Later on in the year, we will be hosting fundraisers, unique gala dinners and workshops to continue with the ultimate goal of building a strong and supportive community to help raise awareness; encourage early detection and be the source of comfort for those affected by the disease.”
“Our event marking the first anniversary was powered by HDigital and supported by Makeup District Qatar, Sports Exclusive, Stratton Food Trading, Alme Soaps, Trinity Talent Qatar, and Twinset. The T-shirts are available on https://www.bonfire.com/walkwithteal-campaign160/ The Teal Totes will be available for purchase on our website www.thetealsociety.org starting June,” said the cancer campaigner.