Innovation is the key to change, improve and succeed; and innovation is what Alfaisal Breast Cancer Team (ABCT) holds as a motto. ABCT is a group of four students (Akram Nurhussien, Mohannad Abou Saleh, Sadek Obeidat and Abdullah Alshammari), a faculty member (Dr. Hasan Rajab), a staff member (Ms. Sondos Aljazairy) and a health educator (Ms. Abrar AlDahlawi). They had the ultimate objective of driving a change in the community and help preventing the alarming rise in breast cancer in Saudi females.

Their hard work ultimately paid off. Their abstract entitled “Effectiveness of an Innovative Community-Based Breast Cancer Awareness Workshop” was recognized by Leiden International Medical Student Conference as one of the top 15 abstracts out of 750 abstracts submitted worldwide. Not only that, they were invited to orally present their abstract and were awarded a travel grant. On the 15th of March, the ABCT packed their bags and head to Holland with one objective on mind, to represent Alfaisal University, Saudi Arabia and the region as a whole.

Once there, they were greeted with utter respect at Leiden University. On the day of presentation, 26th of March, the team represented by Abdullah Alshammari, who is the main author, prepared to present in front of students, professors, and judges from all over the globe. Proud of his and his-team’s achievement and confident with their work, he walked up the stage, greeted everyone and started his first step towards international success and recognition. The abstract received a strong applaud and the audience seemed eager to ask questions. Praised by the judges, the team thanked the audience and wished every one the best of luck.

On the final day of this four-day conference, results were in, and ABCT’s presentation was ranked one of the top 20 presentations. Their paper was one of the best 50 presented to be published in the Medical Science Educator Journal, the Journal of the International Association of Medical Science Educators.

This story of innovation, hard-work and success doesn’t end here. The ABCT are planning to continue their work in raising breast-cancer awareness and holding work-shops for female participants. More papers are expected to be published, pride and many rounds of applause are yet to come.