Reigning Miss CDO Cinderella Faye ‘Cindy’ Obeñita’s organization “CROWN CDO” has gained partners in the fight against cervical and breast cancer with the Misamis Oriental Physician Nurses Foundation Inc., (MOPNFI) and the local government of Cagayan de Oro –further strengthening her group’s advocacy of empowering women through education.
CROWN CDO: Cervical Cancer Awareness and Prevention Circle was formally created earlier this year in January ahead of the prestigious Miss Cagayan de Oro pageant with the help of her boyfriend John Henri Lopez and closest friends Artjae Neri, Mark Joseph Sara, Cris Roger Olape, Jelachrise Baconawa, Er Seth Taculod, Sam Roldan and Keith Semaña, in the hopes of educating and empowering women against cervical cancer.
“Ang issue on cancer is very personal to me, para sakoa having lost three of the most important people of my life, it was very painful. That’s why I came up with CROWN CDO, we started talks about it last year with my friends who are members of the LGTBQ community, then earlier this year we officially founded CROWN,’ she shared.
The group aims to empower women by educating them about cervical cancer and how to prevent it through discussion and seminars with the goal of eradicating the fear of women to be tested.
“We have done thorough researched and it shows that 83% of deaths from cancer can be prevented by early detection. And so that is why we are pursuing CROWN CDO, we really want to remove the mindset of women that its very costly and scary, because our government is actually offering free cervical, and even prostate cancer tests for free,” Cindy said.
She said it’s important for women to be health conscious about what’s happening with their own body. Cindy believes that knowing that you’re positive is only half the battle. However, because of the “fear of knowing” some women avoid or even refused to get tested.
“We have been going to a lot of communities. And we ask them why do you not want to be tested? Their reply, it’s better not to know, because maulaw daw sila if ma positive. I think mas dapat ka maulaw if mabyaan imong pamilya ug sayo kay napasagdan nimo imong self diba. Knowing is half the battle, and it’s really a big challenge on your part to get tested,” she said.
With limited resources CROWN CDO remains optimistic that it would get support from big companies by incorporating their advocacy into its CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) so that it would help them with their cause and to provide better and faster service throughout the city especially in hinterland barangays that are not easily reached.
“We are really working on it and looking forward on creating a “Cancer Caravan” we are also inviting people to join us in this mission. We are looking forward for more partnership with big companies na ma included unta sa ilahang Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) ni, para mas daghan atoang matabangan,” She said.
Cindy also shared that she’s happy to win the crown of Miss CDO as it had an enormous impact to her advocacy. She also expressed her sincere appreciation to LGUs and to barangay officials for their support.
“Actually, I am really happy I won the Miss CDO crown, we can’t deny that it comes with influence. Before we started with a very minimal amount. Now, we have gained sponsorship from organizations para mapakaon nato atong volunteer nurses and doctors na mo conduct sa test.”
In terms of government aid “We are partnering with barangay officials. Pareha atong naa mi sa Carmen. Barangay Captain Rosemary Uy helped us by lending their conference hall, mao nang usa sa mga dagkong tabang sa atoang LGUs na spread ang awareness about cancer,” she shared.
Becoming Miss CDO really helped the organization a lot because of the influence it brings. But the true reason why she joined the pageant was not because of the fame it brought, it was the influence that came with the crown, and realizing the value it can bring to her advocacy.
“I already have a “crown” in my heart and that’s the organization I am working on. But winning Miss Cagayan de Oro also opened doors to the possibility that I could bring CROWN to the national consciousness, and for that I am very grateful. We don’t want to focus only here in Cagayan de Oro, but also to its neighboring provinces and municipalities.”
CINDY’S PARTING WORDS
“For those who are afraid of being tested, there is something CROWN CDO wants to share with you. Our organization is very much open. If you’re afraid, don’t be. Because there are a lot of organizations especially MOPNFI and the city government of Cagayan de Oro that have been providing services to lessen the statistics of cervical cancer for free.”
Cindy is encouraging everyone to be tested for cervical cancer; she also urges mothers, fathers and husbands to do the same.
“We should be responsible of our health especially mga teenagers. I am urging mothers, fathers, and husbands to encourage your partner or daughter to be tested regularly. Because early detection of cancer will greatly increase the chances for a successful treatment” She concluded.
The group also acknowledges the help of The House, especially Dr. Edzen Espina – head consultant, Mr. Michael Villamor, Dr. Lesley Lubos and Mr. Jason Alcudia for being the backbone of their organization in providing consultations for our group to be armed with the knowledge on advocating awareness among women.
“The House has been our backbone especially Doc Edzen who helped me in conceptualizng CROWN and connecting me with MOFPNI. He has my constant partner since the time we were on the process of translating this vision into action. Basically, si The House gyud helped me in so many ways for this advocacy to be visible, tangible, doable,” she said.
CROWN CDO in partnership with the local government of Cagayan de Oro and MOPNFI are conducting free test every second Saturday of the Month at the J.R Borja Memorial Hospital from 1 pm to 3 pm. WANT TO HELP? Contact their Facebook page today.