Honouring Our Heroes
The Global Relay For Life Heroes of Hope are symbols of personal victories over cancer as they encourage, support and participate in Relay For Life and the mission of the cancer organisations. These exemplary cancer Survivors are not only willing to share the story of their own personal cancer journey, but are also willing to become a voice for cancer organisations and the life saving work they do in the fight against cancer.
Their leadership and determination help grow Survivorship Programmes, as well as Relay For Life. These heroes have lobbied governments and the United Nations for support, helped make the word “Survivor” a celebration of life, and created momentum for local events. They are true Heroes!
South African Global Heroes of Hope
Cancer Survivors inspire hope, courage and determination to fight cancer. South Africa is extremely proud of our Globally recognised Heroes of Hope – they are beacons of hope to all other cancer patients and Survivors in our country. As a voice and ambassador of the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), they increase awareness of our organisation, its mission and grow CANSA Relay For Life participation. Their role is so important in leading other Survivors to step up and make a difference. Survivors have the power to save lives by sharing their story and demonstrating many ways to fight back.
Relay For Life welcomes our Heroes to the Global network of Heroes of Hope who are determined to make a difference in saving lives by sharing their story and leading the way. We are grateful for their volunteer efforts and support of CANSA. Volunteers like this make a difference in the fight in reducing cancer risk and will give those on their cancer journey the opportunity to celebrate more birthdays.
“We are truly honoured to have these very special people being selected as our representatives in our country for CANSA and Relay For Life to spread the message of HOPE,” says CANSA CEO, Elize Joubert. “These people are the faces and voices of victory over cancer and reinforce why we do what we do on a daily basis.”
“Carrying a powerful testimony of survival and strength, these Global Heroes of Hope can spread the message of hope and courage to cancer Survivors worldwide. These extraordinary people serve as beacons of HOPE to all cancer patients and Survivors in our country.” concludes Joubert.
Congratulations on being selected as a Global Hero of Hope! See all the Global Heroes of Hope here.
South African Global Heroes of Hope 2018
“To Serve and Not be Served”
I was diagnosed at the age of 36 years with Hairy Cell Leukemia. This is a rare type of cancer for women of my age and it is usually found in older males. In 2013, at the age of 50, I was invited to attend CANSA Relay For Life as a survivor and have been an active of member of the CANSA Relay For Life Athlone family since. I first became a team captain in 2014, served on the Committee as the Mission Delivery Chairperson and since 2016 have been the proud Chairperson of the Relay For Life Committee. Read more…
I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 37 years old. It was a great shock to me as my worst fears were confirmed. I was happily married with two children. My support system, my family was great; encouraging me to hold on, be strong and keep my head up high.
It was after one chemotherapy session that I decided to visit CANSA Vaal Triangle Care Centre. I was so sick and pale. I felt too ugly to face the world. I needed some motivation, a make-over, or I could just stay at home and hide from the world. But I also needed information and medical advice. It was this day that I was welcomed into the family – “The CANSA Family”.I felt the need to help and motivate other patients also battling ‘the Big C’ the way that I had been helped that day. Read more…
Although I didn’t suffer the physical pain, I experienced the horror, the paralysing fear as I heard that my beloved wife had breast cancer in 2002. My greatest fears were losing my wife and not been able to cope without her.
Questions kept mulling over my mind and the biggest concern was that I would not be able to rear our three little children. It was then that I decided breast cancer would not be the winner, but I would be the ‘winner man’; it had to be our fight. We stepped up as a family. Together, we went through all the stages of fear, denial and acceptance, but it was with this acceptance that I earned my boxing gloves, as I realised that I would have to embrace all of the challenges that faced us. Read more…
It saddens us at CANSA to share the loss of one of our Global Heroes of Hope, Jana Grobler. She was such an inspiration to her fellow Survivors at CANSA Relay For Life Lephalale, where she served as the chairperson. Jana was always ready to help at our support groups and any other CANSA events.
May you rest in peace, Jana. We salute and thank you. Our deepest condolences to Jana’s loved ones and our thoughts are with them during this difficult time.
“The interaction with fellow fighters and survivors is inspirational. The kindness and support so many people affected by cancer is priceless. Being a positive person, I like to inspire. I would also like to tell people to always have hope and live life to the fullest.”
I was diagnosed with HER2 positive breast cancer in 2012, at the age of 37. I asked a gynaecologist about a lump in my breast while going for a routine check-up. The doctor referred me for a mammogram and a biopsy. After the shock of been diagnosed with breast cancer, I prayed and asked to be used in this new journey that I was embarking on.
I was elated when the chemotherapy worked and went for a lumpectomy to remove the remaining tissue as well as the lymph glands that were affected. After continuing treatment for a year I was in remission.
I was diagnosed with cancer for a second time in 2014. The cancer has spread to my liver. Read more…
I couldn’t have had more perfect and ideal life, 33 years old, married with four wonderful children.
After suffering from pain and fatigue for almost two years and doctor after doctor finding nothing wrong, I decided to live life to the fullest. I went to the doctor once again in February 2014 and following a battery of tests a biopsy revealed that I had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
I endured six months of intense chemotherapy with sessions every three weeks which was followed by maintenance chemotherapy every three months for three years.
During the treatment I lost my hair… and my husband, but I managed to regain the purpose and meaning of life. Read more…
“Even the fiercest storms don’t last”
Five days after a devastating miscarriage, 27 years old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I will never forget the look on the doctor’s face after she told me it was cancer and my response was that it was okay. I believe that this immediate acceptance of the diagnosis played a vital role in my journey. I believed that nobody else could be strong for me, but rather that I had to be strong for everyone else.
Your body listens to your mind, so I would block out all the negativity and only attract good vibes. My body had no choice but to respond positively. Read more…
South African Alumni Global Heroes of Hope
As new Heroes are selected for the new year, the Heroes of the last year will be known as Alumni Heroes, “Once a Hero, always a Hero“. They will continue to represent CANSA, providing us with a network of Heroes and a pool of ready speakers and leaders to inspire others.
Meet our Alumni Global Heroes of Hope:
- South African Alumni Global Heroes of Hope 2017
- South African Alumni Global Heroes of Hope 2016
- South African Alumni Global Heroes of Hope 2015
- South African Alumni Global Heroes of Hope 2014
- South African Alumni Global Heroes of Hope 2013
- South African Alumni Global Heroes of Hope 2012
- South African Alumni Global Heroes of Hope 2011