South Africa commemorates Women’s Month in August as a tribute to the thousands of women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956. It’s a month of celebrating the powerful impact that women have had in South Africa and around the world - a month dedicated to all women.
It is also a month that has become an incredible driver for awareness of breast cancer. National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual health campaign held every August that is essentially dedicated to boobs – with a month long drive is to raise awareness, but to also raise funds for better research into the cause, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and cure of breast cancer.
This month is about showing love and support for women who are currently battling breast cancer; women who have battled breast cancer; women who lost their battle to breast cancer and simply put, to love and support women in general. This Women’s Month we are celebrating all strong women who have been, and are affected by breast cancer - Celebrating these women who discovered their own strength, grit and grace.
Georgina, a mother of three boys, discovered a lump in her breast in 2002. 13 years later, she decided to go to Helen Joseph to get it checked out. The lump had grown and she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Georgina is ambitious and describes herself as a big dreamer, but being the eldest of her siblings, she has always been the responsible one.
“Being the first-born in a traditional home made me a naturally strong person. I guess cancer just perfected my strength even more.”
Georgina received a lot of support from her family and they were always available to assist in many ways. She advises, those who undergo the process to “mourn” cancer, feel the pain, get depressed, shut the world out and cry as much as they want to – JUST FEEL.
Jenna Skews discovered she had malignant phyllodes tumor at the start of her matric year. Jenna was scared and confused as to why this was happening to her at the tender age of 17. Jenna was told her tumor was a sarcoma, meaning no radiation or chemotherapy was needed. However, she was later informed she would need to undergo a mastectomy to remove all possible threat of malignant cells.
“I’m an average girl – a daughter, sister, girlfriend and friend.”
Being a teenager, Jenna had to deal with many difficult emotional stages most girls her age never think about. She had a lot to process and the emotional and physical stress was daunting; Jenna didn’t let this bring her down, she had so much to achieve in her life. Despite the challenges of her diagnosis, she continued her studies and managed to complete high school. Jenna believes the key to survival is to look at what lies ahead, even when you think you have reached your lowest point. Focus on your goal and not your current circumstance.
Sherine is a 56 year old, three times cancer survivor, who believes that challenges are merely reminders of the super powers that every woman carries within herself.
“It is true that you never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only option.”
A mother to three wonderful children, a wife to a loving husband and a motivational speaker. Sherine was first diagnosed with breast cancer when her youngest child was three years old (15 years ago). Five years later, she was diagnosed with cancer on her femur, which was treated but then spread to her other femur, spine and skull.
Through the support of her husband, family and friends, she regained her confidence and founded a support group, which she says is her way of giving back to society. Sherine believes every woman has a hero within herself.
Stacey Cohen, mother of two, was diagnosed with stage three cancer at the age of 36. Stacey underwent chemotherapy for several months, a course of radiation for six weeks and had a double mastectomy. Subsequently she has undergone several operations and one must ask; how did she cope with so much? Stacey had a lot of love and support from friends and family, which played a big role in her recovery.
She continued daily with her gym and running routine whilst undergoing her chemo and radiation treatments.
“It’s the small things that make me appreciate each day. I am happiest when I spend an afternoon at home with my family in my garden.”
Since her experience, Stacey counsels women who are experiencing the same difficulties she experienced. Stacey is also in the process of writing a book to document her journey and inspire other women who face all sorts of life challenges.
In March of this year I had a hysterectomy (that’s a story within itself and one for another day), but my ovaries were not removed. I recovered well after +- 2 months of bleeding and discharges and wearing very unflattering stockings.
Every woman is potentially at risk of getting breast cancer. However, there are certain factors that would put women in a higher risk category. The risk factors include:
A few decades ago breast cancer diagnosis was devastating for women as proper treatment was not yet available to treat the condition.
Sherine, who is 56 years old, is three times a cancer survivor who believes challenges are a mere reminder of the super powers that every woman carries in herself.She is a mother to three beautiful girls, a grandmother and motivational speaker who was first diagnosed with breast cancer when her youngest daughter was three years old (15 years ago) and went through treatment.
I celebrate daily through the choices I make, from the outfit I wear to the conversations I engage in. I am aware of my femininity and the power I carry.
Be true to who you are. You were never born with a manual on how to handle yourself but you have me as your mother to show you the right path to follow.
|Twinsaver has launched a special edition pack to inspire change and be a symbol of awareness.The women featured on the pack are cancer survivors highlighting their courage and journey. For every special edition pack sold, Twinsaver will donate R2 to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) – these funds will go towards supporting women with breast cancer. Available in all major retailers from August 2017. To follow the journey of some of these inspirational women, follow the #CelebrateWomen hashtag or visit the Twinsaver Facebook page and website. READ MORE|