“It’s not what I do, it is what I AM”
Alna Kraak – My caregiving journey started in 1987 as a registered nurse at Groote Schuur Hospital’s Oncology Department. Personally, I was also affected by cancer as I had lost my father-in-law and two uncles to the disease.
I began volunteering as a CANSA Volunteer in March 2009 and received Patient Care and Phakamisa volunteer training. Since then, I have been actively involved with CANSA and have a ‘hands on’ approach with patients in my community. I have built good relationships with all my patients and clinics in the area, as well as the local hospital. Patient care is my main priority, but my love for people goes beyond patient services. I know all my patients by name and am available for them day or night and my aim is to make them feel special and loved.
I was trained as a Phakamisa Navigator by CANSA. I can assist patients who need prosthesis or wigs, and I am also part of the cancer support groups in my area. I love working with breast cancer patients to assist them on their cancer journey. I enjoy working in the community and educate and motivate my patients.
CANSA Relay For Life has become my passion because I am able to give back to the community by caring for survivors and raising funds for service delivery in our community. This my 9th year being part of this community and volunteer-driven project. I was a member of the first CANSA Relay For Life MAP in 2011 and have since been Chairperson of Finance and Survivors. For the past four years I am the Event Chairperson.
While working at Groote Schuur Hospital as an oncology nursing sister, I saw the needs of cancer patients. When we heard about CANSA Relay For Life we decided the bring the event to our community because cancer has affected many families in my community. Through Relay For Life, I started getting more involved with CANSA.
Being a caregiver is my passion, especially helping and motivating my community.
“A nurse is not what you do. It is what you are – I am not a nurse: it’s not what I do, it is what I AM.”