Dressed in pink to show solidarity with those suffering from cancer, fitness enthusiasts and community members came en masse to attend the Impumelelo Fitness Club’s second annual Cancer Awareness Day at Cloverdene Shopping Centre on November 19.
According to organiser Tsietsi Lephokwane, the aim of the event was to raise funds to build a centre to look after cancer patients in Cloverdene.
“I noticed that in our community we don’t have places that house cancer patients or help them with money to buy medication or travel to hospital for treatment,” he said.
Lephokwane added that some of the proceeds will go into helping patients with transport money as some have to travel to Johannesburg for treatment.
He explained they started this initiative a year ago after realising how the disease had affected those close to him.
“Cancer has affected a lot of people I know. I have three members at the club who have survived the disease. We have one who is fighting for his life in hospital,” he said.
He encouraged people to eat healthily and keep fit as a healthy mind and body can help in the fight against the disease.
“A lot of the time, people are not killed by the cancer. It’s because they spend most of their time overthinking. But when you are fit physically and mentally, your immune system can fight off this cancer. With any sickness, if you are not mentally fit, it becomes easier for the disease to kill you,” he said.
Still a taboo subject with lots of misconceptions because of socio-cultural beliefs, Precious Nxele has urged black South Africans to go screening regularly.
Nxele’s husband suffers from stage four rectum cancer which has now spread to the liver. She said they didn’t know about the disease until it was late.
“He bled when he went to the bathroom and later would feel severe pain in his rectum. He’s not in a good state right now.
“I see this event as important because I want to make people aware. I want people to know that if they feel any discomfort in their body, they should consult a health professional instantly.”
Lorraine Miriri survived endometrial cancer. She also was diagnosed when the cancer was on stage four and had begun to affect her rectum.
“I was operated on and they cut a piece of my rectum. For years I couldn’t go to the bathroom as they had to close everything. They attached a stoma to my hip until my rectum healed.
“If your period pains are unbearable, know that there’s something wrong. Go to a specialist immediately. It’s important to go for screening every year. Let’s take care of ourselves,” she said.
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