“I love to make survivors feel special”
Nadine Liebenberg – I was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma Breast Cancer in January 2007. The staff from CANSA Kimberley Care Centre were positive, caring and well informed on my cancer. We became a “family”.
They educated me on cancer and to assist other cancer patients in various ways according to their type of cancer. The Care Centre was well equipped with wigs and prosthesis and they were very professional in the way they fitted the wigs and prosthesis. I also often received phone calls from them during my journey, and that meant a lot to me.
I have been involved with CANSA Relay For Life for seven years and I serve on the sub-committee of Survivorship Portfolio. I also support the survivors during the Survivors Lap at the event. Too many survivors do not want to make their illness known for their fear of rejection, but through CANSA Relay For Life we show that cancer can be beaten and there needn’t be a stigma to the disease. At the event we promote cancer awareness and support.
I assist CANSA staff with patient visits, collect care packs such as toiletries and supplements for children in the Oncology Wards, do awareness talks if requested by CANSA and I assist with CANSA’s fundraising projects. I am involved with Reach for Recovery as well. The CANSA Care Centre in Kimberley and Reach for Recovery work side by side to assist breast cancer patients. Twice a month we hand out sandwiches at the adult Oncology Ward and provide them with spiritual support as part of my involvement in my church. We support the staff and caregivers in the Oncology Ward as well.
For me personally CANSA Relay For Life is a celebration of my life and makes me thankful for my health. As part of the Survivorship committee, I love to make survivors feel special even though they may do not feel well or ‘look good’. It has taught me to be positive, believe and fight back and I want to share this with the other survivors. It is also a time to thank our caregivers who sometimes are taken for granted and do not realise how “special” they are. Caregivers also suffer and battle in the fight against cancer with their loved ones.
CANSA has helped me during my diagnosis and treatment and they shared important information with me to help me cope during my journey. Their love, care, interest, and compassion made my journey easier. CANSA Relay For Life taught me to celebrate my life and as a survivor, be thankful and give hope to other survivors to remain positive, to believe and fight back.