Religions join war against cancer

Jackson Heights Jewish and Muslim communities came together at the Jewish Center to build a bridge and help improve cancer awareness, prevention and treatment.
The event held on Sunday, January 23, was hosted by master of ceremonies, Thomas Raffaele, president of the Ethical Humanist Society of Queens.
“We are trying to tell all cultures within the neighborhood about the importance of getting tested early while you are still feeling healthy and being made aware of what resources are available,” said Raffaele.
The Queens Cancer Center LatinaSHARE provided presentations of their support groups in Jackson Heights, hotline services and other programs offered to women battling cancer.
“Our hotline number connects you with a cancer survivor that can provide emotional support and the needed resources to go through the ordeal,” said Maria Estrella, LatinaSHARE outreach coordinator. “It is wonderful that the community is doing something to help people from all cultures fight cancer.”
The event also had performances by soprano Amaya Arberas from Spain, Debashree Saha dancing Bharat Natyam and Dhyanesh Prabhu playing the tabla drum.
“The event was very special because there are many people living today with cancer, and we have to continue to help them fight against this disease,” Arberas said. “My best way to give my support is through my singing and that is why I am here today.”
Many people attending the event agreed it was informative and needed in the community.
“The lectures were very easy to understand and the entertainment was great,” said Kathy Moutsanas of Jackson Heights.
Teresa Bayer, from Jackson Heights, added that the event taught her about the importance of prevention.
Dr. Rakesh Kumar, founder of Ishwar Center, taught about the importance of yoga and meditation for people with cancer.
“Though there are a lot of cultures and practices people follow, I think it is time for them to learn about certain truths that can bring healing and happiness to them regardless of where it came from,” Dr. Kumar said. “Yoga and meditation serves as preventive tools from illnesses while providing us with spiritual awareness.”
Ishwar Center located at 70-11 37th Avenue in Jackson Heights will be holding free yoga sessions every Wednesday and Saturday from 10:00 am to 11:00 am.

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