FleetWatch has always stated that trucking is about relationships not transactions and we are thrilled to hear that with the handover of a R500 000 cheque, Bridgestone Southern Africa has recommitted to its 10-year long support to PinkDrive, the NGO & Community Carer dedicated to promoting awareness for early detection of gender-related cancer.
FleetWatch introduced Bridgestone to the PinkDrive campaign when it was first launched after we were approached by PinkDrive founder Noelene Kotschan who needed help in keeping the mobile units in a safe and roadworthy condition.
Given that 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, tyres would obviously need special care. It was thus we introduced Mandy Lovell, then PRO for Bridgestone, to Noeleen and the rest is history. The relationship has endured.
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.
PinkDrive was launched 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.
That the work of PinkDrive is critical is given credence from the fact that 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.
To date, PinkDrive 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 3 590 clinical examinations undertaken, while close on 19 482 men have received a PSA test for prostate cancer.
Bridgestone’s on-going 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.
“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.”
Its stories like these that continue to ignite FleetWatch’s love for this industry. It has a warm heart.