Group supports women with breast cancer

2018-10-11 06:00

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EVERY year more than 8 000 women in South Africa are diagnosed with breast cancer. Maybe you know such a woman – a friend, a family member, someone in the workplace.

What she needs during this difficult time, is to talk to someone who has walked this journey, someone who will understand what she is going through, who can give her hope and provide her with practical support on her road to full recovery – because she deserves to live life to the fullest.

Reach for Recovery breast cancer support group has been providing this service for 51 years (since 1967). Their Peer Support Volunteers, all of whom are breast cancer survivors, support more than 5 000 breast cancer patients per year at 137 treatment centres across 6 provinces.

Each patient also receives a Care Bag with a booklet and pamphlets dealing with various topics relevant to breast cancer patients, a soft prosthesis (temporary breast form), a cushion for under arm comfort and a bag to contain the port-au-vac drain.

A breast cancer diagnosis can be devastating, overwhelming and confusing for any woman. The loss of a breast and the consequent body disfigurement cannot only cause physical discomfort but also affect a woman’s self-image and identity. Many of these women are still of working age and need to return to work to avoid economic hardship.

Reach for Recovery believes that a breast prosthesis is an important step in a woman’s recovery, especially to those women from communities where there is still a stigma attached to a cancer diagnosis.

“Since 2011, our Ditto Prosthesis Support Project provided a total of 5 857 silicone prostheses costing more than R3,7 million to women who could not afford one,” said Stephné Jacobs, Reach for Recovery Board Chairperson.

“I am always humbled by the impact a silicone prosthesis has on its recipient. The overall effect is a sense of recovery with self-esteem, dignity and confidence restored. It is a gift of hope that helps every survivor to move on from a negative experience and start enjoying life to the full again.”

Reach for Recovery welcomes any form of support for its services to breast cancer patients: through volunteering your service or donating towards the cause.

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