Oct 30, 2020
By the Philips Foundation team
October is Pink Ribbon month for Breast Cancer Awareness. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, and the second most common cancer overall.  Philips Foundation wants to contribute to this month not only by raising awareness, but also by supporting local campaigns and initiatives in the fight against breast cancer.

Philips employee and breast cancer survivor Sheridan Mew is fundraising for PATH, an NGO that aims to reach out to women at the community level in Peru to enable them to do annual clinical breast examination and raise awareness on the importance of early detection. Philips Foundation will match all funds raised in 2020.

 

We spoke with Sheridan, who started a fundraiser, not only to raise money, but to increase awareness about the importance of breast self-examination and the fact that not everyone in the world has access to adequate healthcare to prevent or treat the still too common disease.

 

How did you find out you had breast cancer?

 

“At 39 I found a lump. I was fortunate I have premium health insurance, which allowed me to go to a private clinic in Singapore and had test after test. At first the doctors said I was young and not in a high-risk category for breast cancer, but breast cancer does not discriminate by age and you don’t need to be in a high-risk category.

I was privileged to have immediate, high-quality access to care, where women in low- and middle-income communities in Peru do not have that privilege

After a lot of testing I was diagnosed with an invasive ductal carcinoma in June 2019. ER+ c-erB2- in my left breast. My tumor was roughly 3.5cm in diameter. I was away from my loved ones, staying in a hotel and going to treatments alone. I have a son and it was difficult to explain to him I had cancer, I wrote a book to help explain children cope with a cancer diagnosis and treatment.”

 

How do you feel now?

 

“In many ways cancer saved my life. Whilst my personal journey continues, my life feels like it is in widescreen. Colors are brighter, family, friends are precious, and life is a gift. I found the courage to change my life, cancer taught me you can choose your happiness, your response. You can create that life that you want to create, and I want to create a full and happy life.

 

Turning 40 this year inspired me want to give back. There is an opportunity to raise awareness around diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. I wanted to share my story to let people know you are not alone in the journey.”

 

So why a fundraiser for PATH?

 

"Not everyone has the same opportunities as I have. I was privileged to have immediate, high-quality access to care, where women in low- and middle-income communities in Peru do not have that privilege. I want to use this gift I have been given to make the journey easier for others who will be diagnosed, for us to understand the disease better and to be able to provide more targeted treatment options.

pink-ribbon-path-peru

I’m happy for the opportunity to team up with the Philips Foundation, who will match € for € on all funds raised, and help women in remote parts in Peru, improving access to screening and treatment. Early detection is key.

 

I am so thankful for all the support I received from the Philips community. It can be so strong if you allow it to be. If you really connect more, there is so much support at Philips. It allowed me to get closer with people.”

 

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To learn more about Philips Foundation's initiatives supporting breast cancer awareness, click here.

 

If you wish to support Sheridan’s cause to increase breast cancer awareness among women in low and middle-income communities of Peru, you can do so here.

About Sheridan Mew
pink-ribbon-sheridan-mew
Sheridan Mew, mum and breast cancer survivor, works at Philips as a leader in human resources based in Singapore. Sheridan got diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019, and has been cleared from it as of 2020. From that moment on, Sheridan decided to dedicate herself to increase awareness on the importance of breast self-examiniation, especially in countries where access to healthcare is not self-evident.

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