Despite the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the need to minimise social gatherings to curb the spread of the virus, beauty and personal care company Avon Justine, will once again partner with non-governmental organisations to host the first ever virtual national walkathon on 31 October this year to raise funds for breast cancer awareness and education.

This first ever national and virtual iThemba Walkathon, is the 15th edition of iThemba Walkathon that Avon Justine and its non-governmental partners host each year to raise funds for breast cancer awareness and education. Safety and the need to minimise social gatherings is a primary concern this year, hence the iThemba Walkathon will be hosted virtually at the comfort and safety of the participant’s homes and neighbourhoods.

The funds that will be generated from registration will be donated to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), Wings of Hope, Look Good…Feel Better and Journeysys as well as organise the 2021 Avon Justine iThemba Walkathon to help raise breast cancer awareness and promote early detection saves lives.

The decision to continue hosting this annual event, which is the biggest Avon breast cancer walkathon in the world, is in response to increased risk of infection and possibilities of patients developing severe complications during the lockdown due to reduced capacity of public health facilities owing to increased cases of Covid-19 infections and deferred treatment of breast cancer cases.

Participants can purchase iThemba Walkathon tickets for R150 for adults, R100 for children under the age of 12 years and free entry for children under the age of 2 years from the iThemba Walkathon

Once the participant has registered and their registration is confirmed, they will receive a link to download an App which they can use to receive breast cancer education and reminders of the event closer to the date. During the event, participants can choose any route of their choice and will receive push notifications informing them of the distance they have walked during the event.

The App also has a tracking functionality that allows participants to track and share their walking route in real time with their loved ones. The App also allows participants to share their pictures on customised iThemba Walkathon frames that they can share on their favourite social media platforms by using the hashtag #2020iThembaWalkathon.

“Though it is critical that we should marshal all available resources to contain the spread of Covid-19, it is equally important that we should also ensure that breast cancer patients and survivors also receive the necessary support, particularly now during these uncertain times when health facilities are under severe strain.”

By hosting the virtual national iThemba Walkathon, we are casting the net wider and giving all South Africans the opportunity to walk for a purpose and contribute meaningfully in the fight against breast cancer. This virtual national iThemba Walkathon will give survivors of breast cancer the opportunity to celebrate the milestone they have achieved, and will mark a triumph of the human spirit as encapsulated under the theme: My Time to Make  Difference, Watch me now,” – Mafahle Mareletse, Managing Director of Avon Justine Turkey, Middle East & Africa.

The first 30 000 participants to register for the 2020 edition of the iThemba Walkathon will receive a walk pack which comprises of Avon/Justine product, a free commemorative t-shirt and other goodies from corporate voices who supports the promotion of breast health.