Appeal to breast cancer survivors

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PLEASE JOIN: Reach for Recovery’s Leonie Harry is asking breast cancer survivors to come out and volunteer at the organisation Picture: SUPPLIED

REACH for Recovery is urgently looking for breast cancer survivors to come on board as volunteer visitors, especially now during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Reach for Recovery is a non-profit organisation that supports breast cancer survivors.

The organisation, run by volunteers, is the only organisation that provides a patient support service in South Africa.

East London breast cancer survivor and Reach for Recovery Eastern Cape representative and peer support officer, Leonie Harry, found out about Reach for Recovery through the Cancer Association (Cansa) and has been a volunteer with them for 13 years. This year is Harry’s 15th year as a breast cancer survivor and said she is still going strong.

“During these 15 years I had two scares of which one was a benign lump which I had removed irrespective of the scar it would leave. I have made the decision that I would live with many scars but I will never not have a lump removed,” she said.

Harry has been part of the support group for 13 years and said they had seen changes each year and with social media now enabling them to get in touch with more ladies and vice versa. “As an organisation we have also evolved and have more to offer,“ she said.

As a breast cancer survivor, Harry said she would never have thought she would be a volunteer for the breast cancer support group, nor did she know she would be involved at the cancer association of East London and receive the Relay for Life Global Hero of the Year award for 2017-18.

“Many relationships have been forged during this time and meeting breast cancer survivor from across the world. As survivors, we know that support is crucial to the recovery of any patient and it is for this reason that I and many others have joined the support group,” Harry said.

They will be taken through a three-day programme of training on how to deal and interact with the newly diagnosed. This will enable them to visit the patient in hospital at least one day after the operation.

“This is a very fulfilling role, especially if you wish to reach out to another woman. If they wish to be part of the group they may contact us 073-001-3993 or 082-429-4971,” Harry said.

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