Wife of the Governor of Ondo State, Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu, has described her husband, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN, CON, as her strong support system.
The governor’s wife disclosed this while giving address at the Inaugural Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Health Promotion & Education Alumni Association, Ibadan College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, at SDM Hotel Ibadan, Oyo State Capital.
In her words: “I have always made the point that, to survive breast cancer, it is important that you have a good support system, like your children, spouse or close relation. There are instances where a man would desert his wife because she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“If you have somebody like my husband that stood by me through the turbulent times, then you should count yourself lucky. I see him as my numero uno supporter in my journey with breast cancer.”
The First Lady who noted that her experience with breast cancer motivated the founding of Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria (BRECAN) in 1997, noted that the encounter was a blessing in disguise as it brought out her skills for lobbying and public speaking.
According to Mrs Akeredolu: “Having breast cancer took me to different parts of the world. It gave me requisite exposure to know what was happening in other climes. Other things I can say having breast cancer brought to the fore are that I began to speak more. I addressed global audiences with confidence. I also learned the art of lobbying legislators to support the funding of breast cancer treatment.
“Now that advanced methods of breast cancer treatment and management have evolved, women do no longer have to loose their breasts to survive breast cancer. We cannot overemphasize the need for early presentation. The possibility of survival is high when patients present early. Government should also do well to provide the requisite facilities for treating breast cancer.”
Anyanwu-Akeredolu described the beginning of her journey with Breast Cancer Association of Nigeria as lonely and tough, saying “Initially, I was like a lone voice in the wilderness until people started coming out.
Since when BRECAN was launched in 1998, we have been relentlessly committed to breast cancer awareness creation, even at daunting times and situations when people would be given flyers and they would throw it back at me. It was really tough to recruit membership.”
Meanwhile, the association has bestowed on Chief Betty Anyanwu-Akeredolu the Distinguished Alumni Award.
While recieving the award, Mrs Akeredolu thanked the association for finding her worthy of the prestigious award and described the event as a brilliant effort that is capable of building a virile, competitive and worthy alumni association. She also encouraged that lecturers should build good relationship with students during their stay on campus so that they would be encouraged to give back after school.