“My patients give my life purpose”
Daphne James – I am a 74-year-old dedicated CANSA Caregiver from Mossel Bay. My journey with CANSA started in 1995 in the Mossel Bay – George area. 25 Years later, I wouldn’t exchange it for any high-paying job because my reward with my patients is so much greater.
Cancer touched my life personally in 2015, when my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It was a dark time that tested my faith, but I remained hopeful and I quickly became his strength.
God prepared me for 25 years for this moment, to not only be a wife and mother but to be a caregiver as well. My amazing husband unfortunately passed away in March 2019.
I have given part of myself to CANSA and those affected by this dreaded disease. I have been a volunteer at numerous Cuppa For CANSA events and registered two teams in the CANSA Relay For Life Garden Route event, while I also host annual fundraisers for CANSA.
I have been involved with Relay For Life for 10 years and for the past two years have served on the CANSA Relay For Life Garden Route Committee and was actively involved with the recruitment of teams.
I see on almost thirty patients daily, not only to offer much needed emotional support but also for wound care. I often accompany them to the oncology units, and I will collect what patients need from CANSA whenever they may need supplies.
At the family’s request, I will spend nights at the patient’s home when their condition deteriorates and have found myself being the only person between the patient and their end, when they gracefully bow out of their fight. My service does not end there though, as I often wash and dress the body before it is laid to rest.
As rewarding as this role is, it is also unbelievably overwhelming, but my patients become my family. They have given my life purpose and I wouldn’t want it any other way.