Choir raises breast cancer awareness
Founded nearly 10 years ago by the artist Pınar Ayhan to highlight the importance of early cancer diagnosis, the Awareness Choir has a mission to create awareness in society through women who share the same fate.
Since its foundation, the choir has gained many members from various professions like doctor, banker, accountant and housewife, who are trained by chief Cihan Can at the Sevda Cenap And Music Foundation and perform concerts in Turkey and abroad.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, music instructor Can said they wanted to help women’s chemotherapy treatments with “musicotherapy,” adding that the choir was founded with 12 members and then reached 60 members.
Can also said that with the guidance of oncologists, women were given music therapy and that the interest they received made them hopeful for the future.
She said they did not look for music education or have an age limit for the choir members. Can said they received very good reactions in their concerts, which have given them strength.
One of the choir members, Gülnaz Kocabaş said she had opened a new chapter in her life during the treatment process. She said that music was in every moment of her life, such as when walking, washing dishes and going for chemotherapy. “These people feel better when they are together with the people who share the same experiences. It is good for us to be here,” said Kocabaş.
Another member, Meral Doğan, who learned about her disease five years ago, said she had joined the choir after two women told her about it.
She said she had gone to the foundation with no hair and no morale. “Since then, my view of life has changed with the support of my friends and songs. It made me more positive. Music united us. We don’t talk about our disease when we come together. Choir is like therapy for us. It makes us see the world from another window. We don’t have the mindset of a patient,” said Doğan.
Dilek Karakuş, a retiree and one of the older members of the choir, said she had concerts when she first came to the foundation but she believed she could do something with the support and energy of their chief.
“We are sidekicks. We understand each other’s problems and support each other,” she said.
Handicrafts designer Aynur Yüksekbaba said after chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormonal therapies, she had started music therapy, which was the best thing in her life. Yüksekbaba said they gave messages on breast cancer awareness when making music.
“People sing with us in concerts. We believe we have a very beautiful energy. We are human and we can experience anything. Take measures and be positive. This is a social project and I am very happy to be a part of it,” she said.