“Thank you for preparing me”
Mona Maharaj – My name is Malikadevi Maharaj, better known to my community as Mona. I am a caregiver to my husband who was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2018. I am also a caregiver to my community offering support to cancer patients and their families.
I have been involved with community work in Newcastle since 2002 when I was involved the SANBS and learned how much blood is given to cancer patients and I decided to become a volunteer with the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) and provide much needed support to the community in Newcastle.
I have been actively in involved in CANSA Relay For Life for ten years now as the Event Chair. CANSA Relay For Life creates awareness of cancer in the community and through Relay, I can offer hope and motivation to cancer survivors and their caregivers. Relay For Life symbolises hope.
Reality hit hard in January 2018 when we received the dreaded news that my husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Instead of celebrating my birthday, I was trying to grasp the concept of being a caregiver to my husband.
If it had not been for the active role that I played in CANSA, it would have been much more difficult to accept and understand what my husband was going through. The staff partner at the CANSA Pietermaritzburg Care Centre had given so much support to me during my husband’s ordeal. She was the caregiver to the caregiver.
I am also thankful for the knowledge that CANSA had empowered me with, to deal with providing support to my community, but most of all for giving the support that my husband needed.
Thank you CANSA for preparing me for MY Journey.