“I too now consider myself a survivor”
Although I am primarily based in Cape Town I got involved with the CANSA Relay For Life Welkom because of my family’s involvement with the event.
It seemed like the right thing to do because we are such a close-knit family and we had always had a sense of community and becoming involved with CANSA seemed a natural extension.
Many years ago in Pietermaritzburg CANSA had assisted me when I was my father’s caregiver during his last couple of months. My father was diagnosed with lung cancer and CANSA provided me with advice, morale support and medical equipment.
Little did I know at the time that besides from my niece Jorina Strydom, a Global Hero of Hope for 2018, CANSA Relay For Life Welkom committee member and a cancer survivor; that my brother-in-law, one of the sponsors would be diagnosed with colon cancer and would unfortunately lose his battle with cancer and that I would be diagnosed with breast cancer too.
Following a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, I too consider myself a survivor. Woman need to make more aware of the prevalence and risks of breast cancer. That they can live a productive and normal life after a mastectomy and I would like to use my position as a member of parliament to advocate for a more caring healthcare service that not only treats the physical but also the mental and the recovery from this disease.