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Awareness Play Dates, Informational


October – the month of Halloween excitement, cooler days, and Breast Cancer awareness.


Many of us know at least 1 person who has been affected by cancer. It could be a family member, a colleague, an old teacher, or even yourself. Cancer affects everyone in so many ways and with varying levels of seriousness, often due to how early it is detected.
But did you know that for women, the most common type of cancer is Breast Cancer? Which is why during the month of October it is International Breast Cancer Awareness month, to raise awareness around early detection, educating women and supporting them.

A few quick facts for you to understand just how widespread breast cancer is.

  •  1 in 8 women in the USA will develop invasive Breast Cancer during their lifetime.
  •  Studies show that the average age of diagnoses is 10 years younger in the UAE than elsewhere in the world.
  •  When detected early on, chances go up by 98% for recovery.


What do these facts suggest? Well, it solidifies the vital need for research to keep up with the latest advances in treatment to save people’s lives. So, we wanted to bring to everyones’ attention a few things. What is breast cancer? What symptoms should you look out for? And various ways that you can make a difference in the fight against Breast Cancer.

 

 

What is Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the breast. Cancer starts when cells begin to grow out of control. Breast cancer cells usually form a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. Breast cancer occurs almost entirely in women, but did you know that men can get breast cancer, too?
Recent studies are looking at the effect of exercise, weight gain or loss, and diet on risk, as well as how common gene variations (small changes in genes that are not as significant as mutations) may affect breast cancer risk.

 

Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms

It is so important to know how your breasts normally look and feel, which means that you will also be aware of any changes in your breasts. The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass, often painless and hard mass. Some cancers could be painful though which is why it is so important to have any new breast mass, lump, or breast change checked by an experienced health care professional. Other possible symptoms of breast cancer include:

  •  Swelling of all or part of a breast (even if no lump is felt)
  •  Skin dimpling (sometimes looks like an orange peel)
  •  Breast or nipple pain
  •  Nipple retraction (turning inward)
  •  Nipple or breast skin that is red, dry, flaking or thickened
  •  Nipple discharge (other than breast milk)
  •  Swollen lymph under the arm or around the collar bone
  •  Of course, these symptoms can be caused by things other than breast cancer. But if you have them, they should be reported to a health care professional immediately!
  •  While checking yourself at home, and looking for the above changes, it important to note the following:
     Check yourself when you breast are not swollen, often 6 – 10 days after your first day of your menstrual cycle.
  •  Make sure you have a mammogram with your doctor every 2 years, starting at the age of 40, and even earlier if you have a family member with a history of cancer.

 

What causes breast cancer:

The primary risk factors for breast cancer are being female and 50 years and above.
Smoking appears to increase the risk of breast cancer, with the greater the amount smoked and the earlier in life that smoking began, the higher the risk.
A lack of physical activity has been linked to about 10% of cases, while sitting for prolonged periods is associated with higher mortality from breast cancer.
There is research that suggests that obesity can influence you developing breast cancer also. This is largely due to altered estrogen hormone levels that are associated with weight gain in women.
There is an association between use of hormonal birth control and the development of premenopausal breast cancer. Your medical history and family history will often play a role in whether any type of hormone could increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
It could be caused by genetic mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene. Especially if you have a family history of relatives that carry these genes also. it is believed that which is believed that 5–10% of cases refer to someone who has a family history.
Having your first menstrual period at an earlier age and experiencing menopause at a later age—meaning more years of having your period—is associated with a higher chance of developing
breast cancer. This is believed to be due to the hormonal changes that occur each month with a woman’s menstrual cycle

 

Breast Cancer Myths:

As with everything, there is so much information regarding breast cancer, and along with all the conflicting information available, there are a few myths that you can debunk:
If I find a lump, I have Breast Cancer – WRONG a lump could mean many different things and it is always suggested.

Only women with a family history can get it – WRONG there are many environmental factors that can cause the abnormal growth of cells that lead to breast cancer.
I am too young to have it – WRONG as it depends if you have a family history of cancer or not.
Wearing antiperspirant increases my risk – WRONG as research has shown that the two aspects are not related.

 

How can you help raise awareness?

Do you have a hobby making something? Why not consider offering some of your profits t a research charity or support group to help further the knowledge of cancer research and support those who are possibly in need.
Get your employees and family involved! For 1 whole month, every week, encourage everyone to wear PINK! This will help raise awareness to everyone around you!
Get your community involved! Maybe it is your favourite gym class or coffee shop?
If you wish to donate some money to a charity that supports families and research, you can donate to local charities. They aim to minimize the impact of cancer through providing financial support, guidance, and various other types of assistance to needy cancer patients and their families throughout the UAE.


Do you small bit to raise HOPE for Breast Cancer sufferers and help make a change by supporting 
research and improving peoples lives! Together we can Beat Cancer!

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Educational, Informational


The new school year is well in swing, but there will always be multiple fears. Especially now with the pandemic, parents have reservations and concerns for their child’s wellbeing while at school.

The fears of your child’s safety against the virus. The fear that your children will adjust the new strict rules. And also, the fear that the cases will get out of control, and the schools will be forced to shut down.
Having said that, what do kids need this year to get back to school routine and be safe at the same time? The list looks quite different to previous years. But small changes, can make a big difference!

 

 

1. Their own school supplies
It might be clever to send your kids to school with their own set of stationery and have them all labelled! This simply helps reduce the chance of spread of any other virus, not just Covid 19!

 

2. Hand Sanitizer

Even though hand sanitiser should never replace proper hand washing, always include hand sanitiser in your kids’ bag, or in easy access, so they get into the habit on their own of sanitising their hands frequently. This will help in case they touch their face unknowingly, so they can be better protected.

 

3. Face Masks

Face Masks have become a part of our life now. Whether we like it or not, it is one of the most efficient ways of both protecting ourselves and others. Let the kids choose their own face mask to make them feel more comfortable wearing it for extended periods of time. Just remember to have a few available so that you can wash them frequently!

 

4. Personalised Mask lanyards

These lanyards and cute and inexpensive. These help in keeping the mask off the ground and they also help kids so as to not lose masks. They make wearing a mask at school just that little bit more fun!

 

5. Clean school uniform daily

The virus can potentially stay on your clothes for extended periods of time, so it is clever to invest either in a dryer and dry uniforms quicker, or a spare set. Every day when the kids come home, they should change immediately into clean clothes and put their uniforms straight in the washer.

 

6. Headphones

If your child is one of those who is still learning online, now might be a good time to invest in some good headphones, that are comfortable and unique. It also might be a good idea to get wireless headphones, just in case children decide to get off their chair and wander, without pulling off the laptop or tablet!

 

7. Lunchboxes

The rules for kids’ lunches may be stricter now with Covid 19, so make it a bit easier by buying them a new lunchbox of their choice and offering a varied choice of snacks. Our favourite choice for lunchboxes is @citrondubai. Do you own one of their lunchboxes?

 

8. Keep them home if they are sick
It is recommended to keep your children home if they feel under the weather. It may be tough for you (i.e. needing to take a day off work), but in the long run it will help their immunity, by reducing their chances of getting sicker at school. Having said that, make sure you up your kids’ vitamin intake and make sure they have adequate sleep and vegetables in their diet to maintain their immunity during these different times!
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Informational


There are some Mums around the world that we consider Boss Moms. They are either world leaders, celebrities, or CEO’s of large-scale business. They seem to have it all together and are inspiring women around the world to take charge and own their professional, personal and social lives.


1. Jacinda Aden

She became a mum at the age of 37 with her partner, while being the Prime minister of New Zealand for Just under a year. One of the most notable things to mention is that she is the first world leader in nearly 30 years to have a child while in office. She shows that women can have it all (with a little help and a little planning!). One such situation that stood out was when she took her took her young daughter to the United Nations General Assembly meeting. Since becoming a Mum and being Prime Minister she has changed her way of running the country as she claims “To me, leadership is not about necessarily being the loudest in the room, but instead being the bridge, or the thing that is missing in the discussion and trying to build a consensus from there.”


2. Serena Williams

Everyone knows Serena Williams as one of the top tennis players of our time with 23 Grand Slam titles, but did you know that she finished the 7th Australian Open while pregnant with her first child? She has become the epitome of #momgoals. Not only is she honest with her struggles of being a Mum and world champion with grueling training session and travelling the world, but she made an epic come back that few people expected once she had her child.
She once said, “Most of you moms deal with the same thing. Whether stay-at-home or working, finding that balance with kids is a true art,” and that she also has bad days, just like every other mum around the world.

 

3. Sheryl Sandberg

Not the most common name heard in every household, but Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook! She also wrote an award-winning novel called ‘’Lean In’ about individual growth and empowering women around the world to achieve their full potential, by combining professional achievement with personal fulfillment. One tragic and yet notable thing about her is that she sadly lost her husband suddenly in 2015, leaving her as essentially a single mum with 2 kids and a demanding career. She aims to help women understand that they can have it all with the help of a supportive partner, as well as how a supportive partner has an effect on your success in your career.


4. Angelina Jolie

Who doesn’t know Angelina Jolie for her beauty, movies, and also humanitarian efforts? Despite all of these roles and hats she wears; she comments that being a mother is her most important and favourite role. Amongst travelling the world for her work with the United Nations, to places such as Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, she still manages to find time to film and direct movies and be the best mum possible to her 6 kids! That is what we call #bossmum


5. Michelle Obama

Most of us know her as the former First Lady of the United States, but did you know that she also boasts two Ivy-League degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Law School? She has launched many organizations devoted to health and education such as the Global Girls Alliance in 2018, including being an advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, by changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives. During her husbands’ time in the Oval office, she managed to raise 2 young girls in the spotlight, while instilling in them values of being down to earth and giving back to their community.


6. JK Rowling

Who doesn’t love the story and magic that the Harry Potter series brings to every household across the world? But did you know that JK Rowling was famously a single mum living off state benefits when she wrote her book series and thought up the whole story on a 2-hour train ride. She even also famously gave away so much of her earnings to a charity that she no longer holds the billionaire status yet continues to build her fortune from almost nothing. Through all her success and struggles, she still claims that being a mother is her proudest achievement.

 

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Informational
Shamim Kassibawi, Founder of the Play:Date app


Mobile applications are increasingly playing a vital role in everyday life as more and more consumers continue to rely on their features and functions that include, but are not limited to, providing general information, prices, booking forms, search engines, etc., as well as connecting people all over the world through messenger, news feeds, and much more. This has directly led to the rise in app entrepreneurs or aptly titled ‘appreneurs’, who look for ways to turn mundane into easy and convenient.

 

Vital to the significantly large expat community in the region, the instant availability of newsfeeds, free instant messaging and photo-sharing features help expatriates recently moved to the UAE to cope with change and keep homesickness at bay.

 

Keeping in mind expat mothers who are new to the region, Shamim Kassibawi created Play:Date – an interactive app that helps to build a child’s social circle through similar interests and likes. Parents can swipe on profiles that match their little ones’, swap tips and tricks, and can schedule playdates with other parents through the app.

 

“The aim of the app is to promote friendship and relationship-building, something that is necessary during the early stages of a child’s life,” says Kassibawi, who was driven to co-create the app upon realizing the drawbacks her sister faced being an expat mom to a 1-year old. “My sister struggled to find opportunities for my nephew to participate in healthy, fun-filled, quality playtime with children of his age. Given the cultural Arab background we come from, playdates are a foreign concept. I wanted to offer a new opportunity to Arab and Western expats in the region and initiate a conversation on the importance of children socializing in the Arab community.”

 

However, it is not all easy, breezy, in the world of app development. Many factors need to be considered prior to developing an app. Kassibawi shares her top three tips for new appreneurs venturing into the digital world.

Do your research
Developing an idea is easy and quick, but researching the idea to see whether it is feasible and to avoid problems such as plagiarism, research is vital. Security in all aspects must be researched well too. “We needed to ensure the safety of the app as it encourages parents to upload profile images of their children as part of the user-experience,” says Kassibawi

Understand your audience
It is important to identify and understand the user-audience of the app. With parents overlooking their children’s profiles, Kassibawi and her team had to understand what expat parents were looking for. “We spoke to a number of mothers and fathers before we launched. We wanted to know the pros and cons of having an app like this out in the market,” says Kassibawi. Knowing parents’ lives can get busy, her aim was to ensure user-friendliness and simplicity when it came to using the app. “We wanted to keep it ABC.”

Patience is a virtue
Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, apps follow the same rule. “Creating an app takes time, dedication, understanding, and most importantly, patience. We went through several stages of trial and error before we decided to go live. Technical issues must be anticipated and appreneurs mustn’t be discouraged if they face failures in the development stages of the app,” assures Kassibawi. “All of these factors contributed towards creating an app that my team and I were happy to launch and are now proud to see growing with new members every day.”


Sudanese-Kiwi Shamim Kassibawi is a PR queen, creative instigator and gives the Energizer Bunny a run for his money.
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