Breast cancer awareness with the Pink Ladies

Some 250 women dressed in pink, enjoyed hours of non-stop line dancing in the annual breast cancer awareness event organised by the Johor Baru Breast Cancer Support Group (BCSG JB) on May 17.  

Ladies in pink join hands to dance to the tune of Sisters
Themed, Vive La Vie, the French way to say, “Celebrate Life” the atrium of Plaza Pelangi turned into the dance floor for line dancing, one of the physical activities that cancer survivors enjoy as a form of exercise.

“The response to support BCSG JB is so good,” said Doris Boo, President of BCSG JB, herself a survivor for the past 18 years.  She is the driving force behind the team who plans and organises activities to create awareness of what BCSG JB can offer to help patients and survivors achieve a better quality of life.  Boo was encouraged that BCSG JB members were joined by more than 200 registered participants from some 20 dance academies in and around Johor Baru for the line dancing activity.  “Line dancing gives so much joy and helps us in the journey of healing,” she added.

One of the Lim sisters [wearing pink wig!] dancing with
the Pink Ladies at the awareness event
Dressed in shades of pink to reflect the Pink Ribbon, the international colour of breast cancer awareness, female line dancers – with a few men among them – formed rows to kick off the event with enthusiastic non-stop dancing.  They started dancing with joined hands to a song made popular by Bette Midler entitled, Sisters, in steps choreographed by and learned from Darren Bailey, 10-time World Line Dance Champion from the UK.

Bailey, who is now retired from professional competitions, visited JB recently to conduct a line dancing workshop with BCSG JB on the invitation of the four Lim sisters, one of BCSG JB’s strongest supporters and who also happen to be keen line dancers.  The Lim sisters also took the initiative to act as Master of Ceremony for the event and led in the line dancing to encourage the brave survivors who are applying their experience with the effects of cancer to become more positive about life, their relationships and position in the community.

A team from KPJ Puteri Specialists Hospital gave
free health checks to visitors at the event
“BCSG JB is constantly reaching out to provide information about breast cancer and promote the wellbeing of new patients and survivors,” said Boo about the ongoing activities of BCSG JB that includes regular hospital visits, outings and a range of recreational activities like line dancing and swimming.  “Through practical and moral support, we try to give newly diagnosed patients the much needed encouragement and advice to start their own fight against the dreaded disease,” she added.

Besides line dancing, the annual breast cancer awareness event included a road show where the public is educated on some of the services offered by BCSG JB like Breast Self Examination (BSE), the proper use of prosthesis in a programme dubbed “Bosom Buddies”, post-surgery physical exercise as well as personal grooming in “Looking Good – Feeling Great.”  This year, the event was supported by a team from KPJ Puteri Specialist Hospital who provided free health checks and the College of Radiology, Kuala Lumpur, who also offered mammograms at subsidised rates as well as a professional dietician who gave free advice.  Through this event, women were advised and empowered to take charge of their own health for themselves and their families.

Aerial view of the enthusiastic line dancers in the atrium
of Plaza Pelangi, Johor Baru
Registered as a Non-Governmental Organization in March 2004, BCSG has annual events to raise awareness of breast cancer and reduce the stigma of breast cancer, as well as promote education on the symptoms because early detection may lead to higher survival rates.  

Having experienced the pain and suffering, fear and anxieties as patients, BCSG members who are survivors are reaching out effectively to give hope to newly diagnosed patients and encourage them on their journey to wellness.  Among the volunteers are retired medical professionals who are trained to provide emotional and psychological as well as practical advice to help newly diagnosed patients and their families to deal with the challenges in their journey ahead.

The BCSG JB centre located at No. 12, Jalan Ru, Melodies Garden, Johor Baru, is open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 1pm.  The centre’s Prosthetics and Brassiere Shop is open on Tuesday and Friday from 10am to 1pm.  For appointments, Tel: 607 – 335 7211 and Fax: 607 – 335 3211.  Email:  Visit Facebook page:

A version of this was published in The Malaysian Insider on 19 May 2015

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