Every October, in conjunction with its annual Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM) campaign, the Singapore-based Breast Cancer Foundation (BCF) organises a series of nationwide activities aimed at highlighting the importance of regular breast screening and early detection of cancer.

Set up in 1997, BCF is a non-profit organisation with the mission of eradicating breast cancer as a life-threatening disease. To achieve this, it spreads awareness and education through talks, seminars, exhibitions and publications, and advocates early detection through regular screening. Support and volunteer programmes are organised for survivors, their families and advocates through counselling, healing through art activities and other empowerment programmes.

BCF is one of the few breast cancer advocacy groups in the world with a Men’s Support League to emphasise men’s roles in society’s fight against this affliction.

This year, Microsoft Singapore has stepped up its efforts to support BCF’s ongoing initiatives by selecting the nonprofit organisation as one of six beneficiaries of the company’s new Dollar Matching Programme. Through this programme, Microsoft will match the donated sum made by its Singapore employees to one of the six preferred charities (up to SGD500 per employee).

“By launching our dollar matching programme for employee donations in Singapore, our employees can be even more supportive of BCF. As an organisation, we believe it is important to support the causes our employees care about,” said Yun Seong Yong, General Manager, Microsoft Asia Pacific Operations Centre.

The fundraising drive for BCF is coordinated by Ammado, one of Microsoft’s global nonprofit partners. For every minimum sum of SGD5 donated, Microsoft Singapore employees will be given a pink ribbon collar pin as part of the BCAM campaign's appreciation effort.

Microsoft Singapore is optimistic that the fundraising efforts of its employees will help BCF realise its objectives and continue to enrich the lives of breast cancer survivors such as Annie Cheah, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998.

Early detection, the right treatment and strong support shown by her husband enabled Ms Cheah to make a full recovery from the disease. Today, she is a hospital counsellor who plays an active role in raising public awareness for breast cancer, while her husband supports the BCF's activities as a committee member.

“It is important that our message cuts across ethnicity, age group and gender,” said Mrs Noor Quek, President, BCF. “Breast Cancer is now not only a woman’s issue, but one that affects men, families and society at large. It is through the generous support of our corporate sponsors like Microsoft that we are able to develop a greater reach in terms of our awareness building."