Cancer.vive members raise awareness
AN ENTHUSIASTIC team of spirited cancer survivors shared a message of hope with people in East London last Tuesday when they visited the city as part of their tour across the Eastern and Western Cape.
For the sixth year in a row, the Cancer.vive team got on their motorbikes to journey across South Africa, celebrating life and raising awareness about the importance of early detection.
Travelling 2400km from Cape Town along an inland route to East London, and back along a coastal route, the team stopped off at schools, factories and hospitals along the way to create awareness and bring hope to those diagnosed with cancer.
GO! & Express caught the team of mostly women bikers during their stop at Johnson & Johnson last Tuesday.
Former Hoërskool Grens pupil Sinki Mlambo was part of the support team and chatted to us about Cancer.vive.
“People are often surprised by our presentation. They think the survivors will look sick and sad, but then they get up and dance on stage and celebrate life.”
Mlambo was affected by the suffering and loss of her teacher and also a friend who lost the battle against brain cancer. “People often think about it as an ‘old person’s disease’ and it only hits home when it affects someone you know. I never knew how to support my teacher. That’s why I decided to join Cancer.vive.”
Cancer survivor Maria Joubert was diagnosed with sarcoma cancer at age seven and had her leg amputated at eight.
“I was initially so shy to talk about my cancer. A friend introduced me to the Cancer.vive team and this is my third ride. Now I’ve started talking in schools and churches, knowing I can give a message to someone out there.”
Mama Raynolda Makhutle told the audience about her struggles when she was diagnosed with cervical and ovarian cancer.
“In our culture, when you lose a womb, you are stigmatised that you are not a complete woman. I needed strong faith to overcome this trauma. My in-laws negatively influenced my husband, who began to physically abuse me and later left me … I will forever be grateful to God, People Living with Cancer support group and the Cancer.vive 2010 ride which gave me courage to pick up the pieces and face life to make a difference by bringing hope.”
Their presentation, which included much singing and dancing and some story telling, also took place at Hoërskool Grens and Frere Hospital. Find out more on www.cancervive.co.za