Simon HarrisonOctober 28, 2020

How Avayans are Giving Breast Cancer Awareness Month the Attention It Deserves

Throughout 2020, Avaya has helped millions of workers, from thousands of companies, maintain business continuity. In the face of incredible adversity, we’ve helped our customers keep their employees safe and productive.

We feel good about our technology helping to keep governments, schools, and businesses running smoothly. But every day we throw our weight behind global initiatives that may not be getting the attention they deserve as a result of the pandemic.

Global Initiatives

One such initiative is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, held every October. This is a cause that is very close to my heart, as both of my parents have endured the painful rollercoaster this relentless disease puts you on. Whilst my dad has managed to beat it with a transplant my mum is still fighting this thing every minute of every day. In the same way that vendors, partners, communities, and governments have come together to protect the most vulnerable in society, this month at least we wanted to help increase the focus on the same being done for those affected by breast cancer.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, in 2020, an estimated 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the United States, while an estimated 2,620 men in the US will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. And according to the World Health Organization, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide, claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of women every year.

We’ve turned Avaya’s social pages pink in solidarity with Breast Cancer Awareness Month to help drive awareness of these facts. We’re also helping on the ground where possible. In the United Arab Emirates, we’ve partnered with Zulekha Hospitals to create awareness on the importance of getting screened early with the hospital group’s ‘Pink It Now’ campaign. As part of the campaign, Zulekha is also offering free and discounted mammograms for women and men. Also in the UAE, we’re helping get the word out on American Hospital Dubai’s Breast Cancer Awareness promotion, which sees the hospital offers 50% off consultations and screenings at its Breast Care Clinic.

Avaya's Month of Giving

During our annual month of giving in October, Avaya employees around the world put their hearts into supporting the cause as well. I’ve seen staff donating tie-dyed face masks adorned with pink ribbons to a charity fundraiser, purchasing cancer awareness lottery tickets for Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, gathering fan donations during the Play4theCure® girls' field hockey game in Boonton, NJ, donning their trainers for a charity run in Ontario in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and participating in the Susan G Komen 3-Day in Atlanta to fundraise for cancer research. And the Avaya Marketing Team joined Susan G. Koman and started a fundraising page supporting the fight against breast cancer.  You can contribute to ‘Team Avaya Marketing’ efforts here.

There’s a lot to worry about now. Governments, businesses, and people are quite rightly focused on the immediate challenges being presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But this does not mean that other challenges have disappeared. This year, initiatives like Breast Cancer Awareness Month should be given extra attention to ensure that those affected by breast cancer get the support they need. The Avaya team is encouraged to at least make a small difference in the world against this horrible disease. We hope you feel compelled to do at least something, too.

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Simon Harrison

Simon Harrison is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, leading the global marketing function to engage new and existing customers and partners, drive adoption of the company’s software solutions and support Avaya as the leading player in a dynamic digital communications market. 

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