CANSA Relay For Life

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South African Alumni Global Heroes of Hope 2023

Announcing our 2023 Global Heroes of Hope! Each one of our Global heroes brings a face and voice to the cancer battle as well as reinforces the importance of the work we do on a daily basis.

Agnes Munien: Global Hero of Hope (Survivor)

“Inspiring event for me and all cancer survivors”

I was diagnosed with cancer on the 11th of February 2016. This changed my life. There isn’t a day that goes by when I do not think about cancer and how fortunate I am to be alive. I am thankful to my wonderful children, family and awesome, amazing, friends who stood by me and gave me all the love and support inspired from my own journey and other cancer warriors.

Sharing my journey is very empowering for me. I thought if this could happen to me, it can happen to anyone – women my age, younger, older. The first thing that I want you to know is that everyone has their own journey with cancer, and no one is better or worse or has it easier or harder. We are all unique individuals bringing our own life experience to the table during this time in our lives. Read more.

Urbanus ‘Whytie’ de Witt: Global Hero of Hope (Survivor & Caregiver)

“Opportunities for strangers to become friends, and for survivors to feel loved”

Owing to my work, I had a mental block out and got a blunt view out of life but in 2009. My wife was also diagnosed with breast cancer, and my world fell out underneath my feet but realised there is life. I have four children and at that time my youngest was seven years old and I did not know how to deal with that and how to tell my children, but my wife was a trooper and she fought. She is thankfully now 13 years in remission.

My journey with the ‘C word’ started back in 2018, I found- what I thought at the time to be a pimple- on my face, I kept scratching it and letting it heal and it just came back, and one day while I was at the doctor’s office, I asked him to take a look at it. As doctor’s do, he looked a bit concerned at this abnormality. He then said let’s cut out it out and this turned out to be a melanoma of some sort. My wife taught me that there is life with cancer, with her positive attitude gave me the sense of living and to be part of this journey not only for myself but also for my family and all the other people out there that received that the message, ‘you have cancer’ from a doctor. Read more.

Penny Olwage: Global Hero of Hope (Survivor)

“Growing the event within the community”

My journey started in April 2022 when I was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. In June, I started with my chemotherapy, and it has been very rough for me. I will start with the radiation therapy once my chemo is completed. I have been blessed to be able to still work through all this and I still try to go to my Zumba classes even when its’s been a tough day. One of the things I asked my Oncologist is to please not make me sick before I am sick. I have a wonderful support group (family, friends and Zumba team) that is always available to help me when I have one of my off days.

My cancer organisation has supported me from the very beginning. From the time that I heard my diagnosis they have been checking up on me making sure if I needed anything (information, help etc) and even now with a wig, as I am losing my hair because of the treatment. During my treatment they have also been supporting me and giving me information about support groups that I can join and other survivors that can share their experiences with me. Read more.

Awatief Fish: Global Hero of Hope (Survivor & Caregiver)

“Upon my first visit to CANSA Relay For Life, Athlone, I knew I wanted to be a part of the family.”

Prior to a mammogram I detected a lump in my breast and, after all the training and interaction I had with CANSA, I knew that early detection is of the essence thus I scheduled a mammogram and an ultrasound immediately, which was set for 7 June 2021. The outcome suggested a biopsy followed by scans and blood tests.

I felt a certain amount of shock when the results came in, it was T2 Breast cancer, larger tumours that have grown more deeply into nearby tissue which could potentially have spread.

On 14 June 2021 I was diagnosed with HER 2 Positive Breast Cancer (Human Epidermal Receptor), meaning a protein which promotes the growth of cancer cells as a result of more than one copy of the gene. Read more.

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