Every October, we have our Annual National Conference in Tokyo, followed by a party to watch Tokyo Tower illuminated in pink just for that evening! Last year, it was on Sunday, October 3.
There were nearly 800 people in the Conference, members of Akebonokai and non-members. A speaker from the Ministry of Health opened the event, followed by a variety of speakers including a nurse from St Luke's Hospital, a patient in serious condition and a patient of 35 years old from our Young Group. We also had a report of the five branch managers from all over Japan.
Usually we have two to three doctors to join our panel discussion, but this year, for a change, we didn't invite any doctors. Instead, we made it a conference of patients only, with the theme of 'Battle of Women'; in other words, 'Women's Fight against Breast Cancer'.
This experiment was successful and well accepted. We realized that people were very eager to listen to the experiences of other patients.
We especially enjoyed this year's party because we were able to welcome guests from Taiwan, 16 of them. We had also guests from South Korea the year before last. We are trying to form a joint association soon that brings together Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, at the Conference place that is to take place in the beginning of September this year.
Our evening party always begins at the moment of the "Tokyo Tower illumination" in pink lights. The illumination is sponsored by Estee Lauder Company Japan. It is part of their global program to illuminate famous buildings or places in pink, such as Niagara Falls or Harbor Bridge in Sydney. In Japan, since the year 2000, they have been sponsoring this as a joint event with Akebonokai.
As usual there were nearly 300 party guests, and we enjoyed friendly speeches from the Presidents of Estee Lauder Company, and Amer Sports Company(former Wilson), and more speeches from several pharmaceutical companies. Guests enjoy a buffet dinner and disco time. Other guests are members of Akebonokai, their families, doctors and nurses.
Every year, we are doing this nationwide event to raise awareness about the month of October as "breast cancer awareness" month. From this year on, the light-up will take place on the first of October. Our Conference date is October 10, 2005, this means we'll have two parties! Wouldn't you like to come to Japan in October and join us?