Bladder cancer awareness month: highlights and achievements in 2020
This year, Bladder Cancer Awareness Month in May 2020 was unlike any other. Despite the challenges presented by the global pandemic, together we’ve helped to continue the conversation about bladder cancer.
The World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition members, partners and supporters across the world came together to help the world be more #BladderCancerAware.
We are proud of our achievements, which are highlighted below:
- Our online campaign reached over 1 million people across all WBCPC social media platforms;
- Globally people and organisations joined the conversation using bladder cancer awareness month hashtags, with a reach of over 16 million people;
- Over 5,400 posts were shared on Twitter alone using the campaign hashtags;
- Our campaign was more global than ever – reaching 18 countries in 5 world regions.
Many national bladder cancer organisations took initiative to organise their own local activities to bring awareness to the disease. We have taken this opportunity to highlight our member activities below.
In Australia, Bladder Cancer Awareness (BCA) Australia took the lead and organised many activities. They launched Zoom online support groups for patients and carers in the state of Victoria; they launched a “bladder cancer aware down under” online store; they participated in the “Bubbles for Bladder Cancer Day”; and they sent out over 50 care packages to self-isolating bladder cancer affected families across Australia.
Bladder Cancer Canada (BCC) spearheaded the activities in Canada this May and focused on shinning a light into the darkness by raising awareness and spreading messages of inspiration and hope. Here’s what BCC achieved in May:
- They shined a light on national landmarks across Canada as an awareness raising activity, including Niagara Falls, which was a combined effort with their friends at BCAN in the USA;
- They raised awareness on what bladder cancer is and how it is diagnosed;
- They shared stories of bladder cancer patients, survivors and caregivers;
- They launched a 2020 walk season, with a new format designed to keep our community safe and healthy during COVID-19;
- They collaborated with the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition to spread messages of bladder cancer around the world.
To learn more, you can visit the Bladder Cancer Canada website.
PaLiNUro in Italy organised the awareness month activities in May, in harmony with the World Bladder Cancer Patient Coalition. Here’s what they achieved nationally:
- They did a communication campaign for patients, caregivers and the general public. The campaign was featured on social media and in the national and local newspapers;
- They increased awareness of the burden of bladder cancer in Italy, which is relatively under-recognised by the general public;
- In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, they brought attention to the disease, which despite everything continues to affect many people, who are in need of immediate and safe assistance. They also received media coverage in 9 national and specialist media outlets in Italy;
- Many patients have shared their personal stories of facing bladder cancer and their experience with PaLiNUro’s support.
Blaerekreft Norge (Bladder Cancer Norway) organised the awareness month activities in Norway. They set up a Facebook campaign with “DYK” (did you know) facts about bladder cancer which received a lot of online traction. Some of the most popular messages were:
- “(Did you know that)…the yellow ribbon has been an international symbol for bladder cancer for at least 20 years?”
- “…coffee does not cause bladder cancer; just drink!”
Fight Bladder Cancer hosted activities in May; which proved to be a very different month compared to previous years, due to the pandemic, forcing activities to be mostly indoors and virtual. Many of their supporters joined with them in solidarity during May – including signing up to their 31 days of Activity Calendar. The final day of the month, Sunday the 31st, was the “Bubbles for Bladder Cancer Day”, where they blew bubbles to remember all those affected by bladder cancer and those they had lost.
United States of America
Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) hosted local activities for the awareness month in May. Typically, each year, hundreds of people participate in U.S.-based Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network’s(BCAN’s) Walk to End Bladder Cancer. These in-person Walks raise funds, raise awareness and raise spirits. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting social distancing requirements, this year, BCAN got creative and opted to hold a large virtual walk – called the Virtual Walk to End Bladder Cancer which took place on Saturday, May 2. The event was a tremendous success and the volunteer, sponsor and walker responses to the Virtual Walk were amazing. An impressive 1,700 people participated from six countries.
Download the 2020 campaign toolkit