Fighting a never ending battle with stage four breast cancer, 37 year old, Angi Wienekus’s only hope is to receive Herceptin treatment-at R18 000 per injection- for the rest of her life.
Herceptin is a drug that can arrest- or stop- breast cancer by blocking Human Epidermal growth factor receptors (HER2).
In order to increase her chances of survival, Angi needs this treatment every three weeks, however, having gone through six months of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy and various CT and Bone scans throughout her treatment, Angi’s medical aid is exhausted.
In an effort to raise funds for the treatment, close friends Anne Spinas and Justin Hobbs have organised a family day fundraiser taking place on Saturday from 3 pm to 7:30 pm at the Gonubie Baptist Church.
“Its been an exhausting journey, but I’m not ready to give up yet. My kids need me and I have to keep fighting this,” said Angi who is a mom to five year old, Alex and eight year old Hannah.
“Because of them quitting was never an option and I was ready to fight this from the beginning. I am so proud of Alex and Hannah, through all of it they have been my strength, my sanity and my happy place.”
Angi was first diagnosed with stage four breast cancer early in 2016. From there began an emotional roller coaster which saw Angi unable to walk, losing her hair and both physically and emotionally drained.
She is now plagued with eight dormant bone lesions throughout her body as the breast cancer spread. Two new lesions in her L5 vertebra and her sternum were also recently discovered.
“The most difficult thing, even more difficult than being in pain, has been watching my family suffer. The emtional strain it has had on them, I cry just thinking about it,” said Angi as tears welled up in her eyes.
Angi still lives in chronic pain as the lesions have made her bones weak and vulnerable. Something as simple as taking a deep breath leaves Angi hurting on a daily basis, , but she refuses lay victim to her disease.
“Sneezing is probably the most painful thing, Hannah has to hold me tight when I sneeze, otherwise the pain is just too much. I miss doing lots of things, like going to the rock pools with my kids or being a teacher, but I’m really grateful that I’m still here,” said Angi.
While Angi’s war with cancer has been a hellish experience, it brought Angi closer to her family and allowed her to meet friends that have become the greatest support structure she has ever known.
“My parents have been the most incredible support through all of this. My mom has dressed and held me when I’ve been too broken, my dad has done everything in his power to help me fight this. I can’t begin to explain how much I appreciate them. Without them, I’d be long gone,” said Angi.
“A simple thank you seems so insignificant, but thank you, to everyone who has and continues to support me.”
Angi’s Build a Burger fundraiser will allow supporters a fun family outing. Face painting, jumping castles, a DJ and live entertainment will be on hand
Tickets are R100 pp and include all the ingredients to build your own delicious burger.
To purchase tickets or for more information, please contact Anne Spinas on 071 561 5644.