|My name is Martie Westraad. I am 53 years old and live in Suiderberg, Pretoria.
I was worried and concerned about my breast as I could see something terrible was wrong with my one breast. I first went to CANSA in Rietfontein. They referred me to Pink Drive, who immediately referred me to George Makhuri Hospital in Ga-rankuwa.
I was diagnosed with stage 3 advanced breast cancer in March of 2016 after all the required test were done and started with chemotherapy in June 2016. My next appointment was scheduled for 12th July 2016, however on the 8th July I received a phone call from the breast clinic to inform me that my appointment had been postponed as there was no chemo stock available for my treatment.
They said I should phone again in August to determine whether they have received stock of the specific treatment.
This was very stressful for me as I realised that I cannot miss one chemo treatment and if I do I have to start all over again. My colleagues at work offered to help me financially to pay for the treatment if we could buy it privately, and if it could still be administed. This was a dead end as well, and to crown it all the staff at the hospital were very rude to me.
I decided to phone the Pink Drive as I knew that this is not supposed to happen. I was asked to send an email with all the details, which I did and the next moment the emails started pouring into my inbox from ALL the various organisations that started fighting on my behalf.
I sat back and read …. I did not even know that they all exist. I did not even know that this is possible. That was Friday 8 July. On Monday 11th July I received a personal phone call from the acting CEO of the George Makhuri Hospital, Dr Freddy Kgongwana, to inform me that I must come to the hospital for the scheduled chemo treatment on the 12th July as they have received their stock. I went – and yes I was able to get my treatment on time.
THANK YOU to The PINK DRIVE for initiating this CALL for HELP and to ALL the members of the Advocates for Breast Cancer who got on board and voiced their concern about this.
You really are the “Voice of the Voiceless”. Thank you to the Department of Health for dealing with this matter so speedily – is certainly good to know that we can depend on you in our time of need!