Breast cancer support group opens office

2016-11-24 06:01
;Estelle Botha (front/left) chairlady of the Uitenhage Reach For Recovery breast cancer support group with volunteers (back from left) Rose Kayi, Adrie Ferreira, Jacky van Straaten, Jacky Sharp (centre) from Willow Dam Garden Centre and Rachel Brinkhuis (front/right).        Photo:HEILIE COMBRINCK

;Estelle Botha (front/left) chairlady of the Uitenhage Reach For Recovery breast cancer support group with volunteers (back from left) Rose Kayi, Adrie Ferreira, Jacky van Straaten, Jacky Sharp (centre) from Willow Dam Garden Centre and Rachel Brinkhuis (front/right). Photo:HEILIE COMBRINCK

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Reach For Recovery breast cancer support group, for the first time since its establishment 10 years ago in Uitenhage, will now have an office of its own.

The official opening of the office is this coming Saturday at the Willow Dam Garden Centre in Cuyler Street, where owner Jacky Sharp has granted the volunteers space to operate from.

“Every person who goes through the experience of breast surgery as a result of cancer, has to talk about her feelings and fears, and this is where Reach For Recovery volunteers fulfil a tremendous role,” said Estelle Botha, Chairlady of Reach For Recovery.

Most of the Reach For Recovery volunteers are women who have undergone surgery themselves as a result of breast cancer. They have received thorough training to visit patients in hospital and at home.

The Reach For Recovery office now offers breast cancer survivors the opportunity to visit the volunteers in a tranquil environment for emotional support and practical help with the fitting of bras and breast prosthesis. It also serves as an information centre regarding breast cancer and the way forward after surgery.

“Normally, once a breast cancer patient has been admitted to the provincial hospital we are notified. We visit them the day after the operation and six weeks down the line we fill follow up and tell the patient that it is time for her bra and prosthesis fittings.”

According to Jacky Sharp, owner of Willow Dam Garden Centre, she once was confronted with the possibility that her diagnosis was breast cancer.

“I was very concerned about what the next steps would be. Although the results were negative, I continued my urge and that is how my path crossed with Reach For Recovery,” said Jacky.

“Therefore I thought this container would be ideal and the location is pretty much central for the ladies who have to come here by taxi,” said Jacky.

Bras and prosthesis

Usually, after breast surgery, the cancer survivor will wear a softish cover filled with soft batting which should be worn for six weeks.

These softish covers are the affordable way for most women as a prosthesis is expensive and costs an average of R950.

“There are no dues and no charges. We render a voluntary and free service to any person with breast cancer,” said Estelle.

The Reach For Recovery office hours will be Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 to 14:00.

  • For more information regarding the Reach For Recovery activities contact Estelle Botha on 041 966 1093 or 083 650 6200.

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