RCSI Bahrain Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland

RCSI Bahrain supports Breast Cancer Awareness Month


RCSI Bahrain kick started the Breast Cancer Awareness month in Bahrain by hosting an inspirational talk delivered by Ms Julie Sprakel, Founder of Think Pink Bahrain and Head of Community Engagement at RCSI Bahrain. Ms Sprakel shared her story on breast cancer and how this incident shaped and changed the course of her life. Ms Sprakel believed that "situations in life may either control you or you can be in control of the situation". She shared "that it is ok to have dark moments but that it is far more important to have vision and dreams in order to control the situation."

Julie's dreams, vision and determination has allowed her to raise over €1,479,184 (BD700,000) which a large part has been directed towards the purchase of a digital MRI that will be donated to one of the largest public hospitals in Bahrain, Salmaniya Medical Complex, to allow everyone in Bahrain to have free scanning.

Earlier in the summer Ms Sprakel completed her Masters in Nursing at RCSI Bahrain. Her research focused on ‘Breast cancer survivorship in the Arab world: A phenomenological study of Arab experiences post diagnosis'. The aim of her research was to explore the lived experience of seven Arab women diagnosed and treated for breast cancer in Bahrain. The findings illustrated the unique needs of Arab women and showed how culture shaped their cancer experience. The women described how they depended on immediate family members for emotional support and how they drew on religious beliefs to give them hope, direction and courage. This distinct set of coping mechanisms and strategies reinforce the need for more culturally, and in particular, Arab centered protocols to better support women of the region. The study findings inform the need for improved and extended support strategies and services in Bahrain.