A voice for the voiceless

 

IMG-20150715-WA0000My 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!

 

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August 2015’s POW-WOW: Policy Production Progress

“The test of our PROGRESS 

is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much;

it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”  

 

~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

Nestled alongside Mowbray’s Main Road, whooshed past by hustling taxis, bicycling students and colourful Capetonian pedestrians, CANSA‘s Cape Town headquarters houses a passionate team of people who’ve made it their mission to research cancer causes and treatments, educate South Africans about cancer – and provide invaluably expert and heartfelt support to those affected by cancer. And on Wednesday, this matronly old building was host to a boisterously excited group of ABC representatives who were meeting to discuss the group’s most recent efforts and subsequent successes, as well as develop their ongoing goal-driven strategy  → lobbying government to create and implement an equitable breast health policy for all South Africans.

ABC - Advocates for Breast Cancer - Team
Unfortunately not all of our determined damsels were able to be at the meeting — but fortunately, it was because they were so busy making a difference!

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” ~Helen Keller 

 

In case you’ve just arrived to join us on this tremendous project, are members are featured below! We’re proud to welcome Wings of Hope  to our flock!

(Click on their logo to visit their website – and read more here!)

Advocates for Breast Cancer - Wings of Hope NGO

ABC - Advocates for Breast Cancer - Reach for Recovery

ABC - Advocates for Breast Cancer - Project Flamingo - amaBele Belles

ABC - Advocates for Breast Cancer - CANSA

http://www.plwc.org.za/

ABC - Advocates for Breast Cancer - Breast Health Foundation

ABC - Advocates for Breast Cancer - Breast Course 4 Nurses

ABC - Advocates for Breast Cancer - Pink Drive