Brave cancer survivors share their experiences of fighting cancer and their key learnings. Be inspired by their words of wisdom, hope and support.
Dr Lindy Dickson-Hall, a Capetonian mother of three, doctor and University of Cape Town medical microbiology TB researcher, is now 10 years into remission after being diagnosed with stage IV (advanced) colorectal cancer shortly after completing medical school.
Eight years ago, super-fit building contractor and former Half Ironman competitor Michael Kirkhoff found himself lagging behind rivals in competitions and fun rides. He only started to understand why three years later, when he was diagnosed with leukaemia.
Dr Mariam Seedat said her first thoughts about her breast cancer diagnosis were: “I cannot be sick, my baby is in matric and he needs me, and that our aunt Moona is close to death’s door in hospital, who would take care of her?” Her diagnosis, it seems, was an opportunity for altruism.
Ronel Smit has bravely faced both chronic myeloid leukaemia in 2008, and stage 2 breast cancer nearly ten years later, in 2017. Here, she shares her remarkable story of survival, and offers advice to others on a similar journey.
Since 2013, Anneke Stocker has hung onto her seat in a rollercoaster ride with cancer. She has survived Stage 4 non-Hodgkin's B-cell lymphoma cancer of her digestive tract and a bone-marrow transplant in 2018. And, in May 2019, Anneke got married!
At age 26, Reyaan was a muaythai boxing champion at the peak of his career, when he had a serious accident. A CAT scan done during subsequent treatment revealed a brain tumour he’d otherwise have missed. Reyaan has survived to become a cancer warrior.
Bone-marrow stem cell transplant recipient, Thinus Janse Van Rensburg, has survived Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – twice. Discovery’s cover gave him both top medical care and his salary in full for two years - giving him time to focus on healing.
Howard Butler, a 46-year-old head and neck cancer survivor, is a cancer prevention and patient-support advocate. He’s outlived six bouts of cancer and lives to help reduce South Africa’s globally high incidence of Head and Neck or oropharyngeal cancers.
A country and western song by Tim McGraw kept two-time breast cancer survivor Penelope Howie, emotionally strong through multiple, challenging treatments. Written after McGraw’s dad died of cancer, “Live like you were dying” stems from advice to his son.
In 61-year-old Zephania Msimang’s community in Katlehong – and many other disadvantaged African settings – cancer means death. So, when his biopsy came back positive for prostate cancer in early 2016, he thought his world had ended.
For Kerrin and Grant Bain, losing Jessica (their 20-month-old daughter) to cancer was gut-wrenching. Two years later they heard that their daughter Georgia, had brain cancer. The journey led them to starting The Cows, fundraising for CHOC.
Norma Moller shares her experiences during her rollercoaster cancer treatment journey that has left her wiser, more aware, more disciplined, and an expert when it comes to her own body.
Surviving cancer physically is sometimes only half the battle. The other half is the post-treatment journey. Laurie Gaum shares his emotional lung cancer survival journey.
It's hard to imagine that cervical cancer affected the lives of two sisters in the same year - and how differently. Alrita Groenewald, 41, was given less than 30% chance of survival, while her sister Tessa Supra, 46, chose to silently carry the burden of her subsequent diagnosis.
Linda Greeff, an oncology social worker and cancer survivor herself, believes that a patient’s long-term survival is most impacted by the first treatment intervention. She shares her insight from her own experience with being diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
For Sherene Grobler, a 52-year-old Witbank grandmother, the shock of hearing that tumours removed from her ovary, urethra and bladder were cancerous was cushioned by instant support from her family and church friends.
The deaths in three consecutive years of those Mickey lived with - her in-laws and then her husband, Mandla, followed by her own shock diagnosis of aggressive breast cancer would have been too much for most women.
Hendrik Stopforth's Acute Myelodysplastic Leukaemia (AML), was a two-year trial by fire during which his family bonded strongly, received huge support from extended family and was financially buoyed by the generosity of strangers.
With his diagnosis carrying a median survival rate of four years, Fareed Bruintjies, 47, accidentally bumped into a patient who'd survived the same cancer for twelve years, in the chemotherapy room.