October 2023– Bridgestone Southern Africa handed over a R500 000 cheque to PinkDrive, the NGO & Community Carer dedicated to promoting awareness for early detection of gender-related cancer. Bridgestone has supported PinkDrive for the past 10 years with its “pink valve caps” programme.
PinkDrive was founded in 2009 by Noelene Kotschan to provide early detection of cancers, particularly breast, cervical, prostate and testicular cancers. These gender-related cancers are all highly treatable, especially if they are diagnosed early enough. PinkDrive aims to reach people in disadvantaged areas who do not have adequate access to screening from the government health services, and cannot afford private health care.
The mortality rate from cancer has doubled over the past 30 years in Sub-Saharan Africa, with the annual cancer death toll set to hit 1 million by 2030 without significant intervention.
“South Africa has the third highest mortality rate from cancer in Africa, after Nigeria and Egypt, so PinkDrive’s work in early detection is highly significant and one that we are proud to support,” says Chantal Baxter, Operations manager wholesale at Bridgestone Southern Africa.
Bridgestone’s ongoing contribution of R500 000 to PinkDrive is the outcome of its Pink Valve campaign through which money is raised by selling pink valve caps direct to the public, to Tyre Dealers and at Motorsport Events. Members of the Bridgestone staff, including its top executives, drive this effort in their spare time undertaken on a voluntary basis.
In addition to an annual monetary donation, Bridgestone provides maintenance for Pink Drive’s mobile units, donating tyres when needed. These mobile units are critical because they enable PinkDrive to reach remote and underserved communities effectively.
To date, PrinkDrive has educated 445 175 women on breast health and performed a similar number of 431 712 clinical examinations. Nearly 12 640 men have been educated about breast cancer, with 3590 clinical examinations undertaken, while close on 19 482 men have received a PSA test for prostate cancer.
“Our work is bringing cancer screening to thousands of South Africans by enabling the early detection of treatable gender-related cancers. The support offered by Bridgestone over the years is invaluable to us,” says Nelius Du Preez, National Marketing and Events Co-Ordinator at PinkDrive. “Our thanks to the Bridgestone team for all its effort and dedication to this worthwhile cause.”