Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
Sixteen-year-old Cameron Martin shares how his family and friends have helped him adjust since he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. Cameron Martin (16) lives in Weltevredenpark, Gauteng with his parents, Roger and Samantha, and his younger sister, Caitlyn.  When meeting the polite teenager, one would never think he has just undergone major surgery and cancer treatment. His relaxed and level-headed attitude is supreme.  Diagnosis in 2018 Being an avid sportsman, playing cricket, hockey and at times athletics, Cameron automatically assumed his sore knee (right) was a sports injury. He went for physiotherapy but the ‘injury’ kept on recurring.  With Cameron’s…

Sep 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
We catch up with lung cancer patient, Mahendra Modi (79), who was on our Nov/Dec cover, in 2016, and hear how well he is doing on osimertinib (Tagrisso), an oral medication. Mahendra Modi (79) lives in Mulbarton, Gauteng with his wife. He has three children and seven grandchildren. Background Mahendra was diagnosed, in 2014, with Stage 4 lung cancer associated with an EGFR mutation. This type of lung cancer is not related to cigarette smoking but is driven by a mutation (changing of the structure of a gene), called an EGRF mutation.  Due to the stage of Mahendra’s cancer, surgery was not an…

Jul 29, 2019 Word for Word Media
Pragashnee Pillay shares how getting a dog for her daughter, Diya, helped both her and her daughter cope with her cancer diagnoses and treatments. Pragashnee Pillay (35) lives in Tongaat, Kwa-Zulu Natal with her husband, Terence, and their five-year-old daughter, Diya, and their pet Jack Russell, Stitch. Thyroid cancer A month before Pragashnee was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, in April 2017, her daughter, Diya, asked for a baby brother. Unfortunately, that was not on the cards as Pragashnee hadn’t been feeling well for some time.  “I told her that I am currently unwell and will not be able to…

Jul 29, 2019 Word for Word Media
Mother of twin boys, Anja Berkowitz, shares how her battle with cervical cancer while pregnant ultimately birthed her new business, Amara Grace. Anja Berkowitz (35) lives in Fourways, Gauteng with her husband, Jordan, and their twin sons, David and Noah (3). Cervical cancer and choices In September 2015, about a year and a half into fertility treatment, Anja fell pregnant. Jordan and Anja were thrilled to be expecting twin boys. Their life-long dream was becoming a reality. Three months into the pregnancy, Anja experienced complications, including bleeding. After changing doctors in January 2016, the expectant mother was told she had cervical…

May 30, 2019 Word for Word Media
When faced with an ovarian cancer diagnosis three months before your wedding, at the age of 25, what do you do? Sarah Smit bravely chose to go ahead with the wedding plans. Sarah Smit (28) lives in Centurion, Gauteng with her husband, Pieter. Sarah and Pieter met on New Year’s Eve in 2008. They started dating and in July 2015, Pieter proposed. Sarah said yes and their wedding was set for 1st October 2016. Flu-like symptoms In May 2016, Sarah went to a doctor. “I had flu-like symptoms since the beginning of the year. I would get better, then a few…

Mar 20, 2019 Word for Word Media
Hollard DareDevil Run ambassador, Judd Van Den Bergh, shares his testi-monial of being diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 23. Judd Van Den Bergh (27) lives in Benoni, Gauteng. Young and indestructible Judd never worried about his health and fitness. As a result, he was overweight and never thought too much about it. In his mind, he was young and indestructible. But in April 2015, his indestructibility crumbled.  He felt a lump in his testicle while doing a self-examination in the shower. This was thanks to a good GP emphasising the importance of testicle self-examinations to Judd.  “When I first found the lump, I was…

Feb 5, 2019 Word for Word Media

Angelinah Matimolane tells us how an asthma attack ultimately led to the discovery of cervical cancer, then how that spread to her stomach, and how 13 years later she is still fighting fit. Angelinah (Angy) Matimolane (47) lives in Soweto with her husband, daughter and three grandchildren. Strong family history of cancer There is a strong family history of cancer in Angy’s family. One member passed away from cervical cancer while another member passed away from lung cancer. Angy’s brother passed away from stomach cancer, in 2016, and, currently her uncle is fighting lymphoma cancer.  January 2006 On the way back…

Dec 3, 2018 Word for Word Media
There is no stopping prostate cancer survivor and CanSurvive director, Ronnie Nkabinde. He is on a mission to take prostate cancer awareness and supports groups to underprivileged areas. Ronnie Nkabinde (66) lives in Crystal Park, Benoni, Gauteng.  He is divorced and has four children and four grandchildren. Family history of cancer When Ronnie was diagnosed with prostate cancer, in June 2016, he was not too shocked as both his parents had had cancer. His mother (87) is a cervical cancer survivor; she was diagnosed in her forties and his father was diagnosed with prostate cancer in his eighties. His…

Sep 26, 2018 Word for Word Media
Adri De Bruin tells us why strong is the new beautiful, especially when you are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Adri De Bruin (56) lives with her husband, Jan, in Mulbarton, Gauteng. They have an adult son, who lives in Australia. Diagnosis after family deaths The year 2017 was an extremely difficult year for Adri. Her mom was ill, she had Alzheimer’s, and after a series of complications she passed away in October. Then in November, Adri’s brother-in-law also passed away. At the time, Adri told her sister she felt like someone was strangling her as she was experiencing extreme pressure around…

Jul 27, 2018 Word for Word Media
Annie Izzard was given six months to live when she was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 1987. Thirty-one years later, she is fighting fit and even completed The Comrades Marathon in 2000. Annie Izzard (76) lives in Kloof, Kwa-Zula Natal with her husband Michael. She has two stepchildren and five granddaughters. Scotland, 1987 Annie was 45 years old when she noticed blood in her urine. The loss of blood was so bad that one day she passed out. She was rushed to the gynaecology ward at a hospital as it was thought she needed a hysterectomy.  Though after numerous…

Jun 1, 2018 Word for Word Media
We hear how superhero, Lofentse Buthelezi, became the victor over childhood cancer. Lofentse Buthelezi (8) stays in Mondeor, Gauteng with his parents, Sithuli and Masetshego, and his baby sister. On the day of the interview, Lofentse plays outside. He told his father, Sithuli, beforehand that he wants to be outdoors with his friends so Sithuli must rather answer the questions. This is perfectly normal behaviour for an energetic eight-year-old, but most of all it shows that the little superhero is catching up on lost playing time. Diagnosed at age 5 Ironically, it was a fall off the jungle gym, at…

Mar 26, 2018 Word for Word Media
We speak to married couple, David and Beulah Jankelowitz, about how their marriage survived a breast- and a prostate cancer diagnosis, and after 54 years is still going strong. David (79) and Beulah (76) Jankelowitz live in Krugersdorp, Gauteng. They have three children and six grandchildren and will celebrate their emerald (55 years) wedding anniversary this July. Beulah’s breast cancer It is hard to fathom that when  Beulah was diagnosed with lobular breast cancer in 1987, at the age of    45, she never knew a thing about the disease. Thirty-one years later, she is a walking breast cancer…

Feb 7, 2018 Word for Word Media

Cynthia Rawcliffe speaks about the highs and lows of her thyroid cancer diagnosis.

Cynthia Rawcliffe (48) lives in Athlone, Cape Town. She has a 19-year-old daughter.  Struggling to breathe In March 2014, Cynthia was often short of breath. She would sleep in a sitting position as this eased her breathing. Her GP diagnosed her with asthma. A week later, she was rushed to the hospital. After numerous tests, she was told it was a lung infection caused by her smoking. It was only two days later that one doctor detected a mass in her neck. She underwent a…

Dec 1, 2017 Word for Word Media
Lauren Segal, four-time cancer survivor and author of Cancer: A Love Story speaks about her different diagnoses – breast and skin – and how her daughter, Katya, played a role is her journey. Lauren Segal (51) lives in Parkview with her husband, Jonny, and daughter, Katya (17). Her son, Josh, is currently studying abroad. Four cancer diagnoses It’s not often you come across a four-time cancer survivor, yet here Lauren is. The first diagnosis, a malignant melanoma on her thigh, was discovered at the age of 23 in 1989. The mole was surgically removed. Fast-forward to 2011 when a ductal…

Sep 28, 2017 Word for Word Media
Not only did Ismail-Ian William Fife survive prostate cancer but also breast cancer. We hear how his battles birthed Can-Sir, a men’s cancer group, that has helped a substantial amount of men. Ismail-Ian William Fife (53) lives in De La Haye Avenue, Kenwyn, Cape Town with his wife, Bianca, and her 10-year-old twins, James and Jordan, and the family dog, Daisy. He has two adult sons from his first marriage. Prostate cancer At 40, Ismail-Ian was diagnosed with Stage 2B prostate cancer in 2004; a year and five months after his initial symptom – blood in urine – was detected…

Jul 27, 2017 Word for Word Media
Emily Anne Gray tells us how she confronted a cancer diagnosis at age of 11, and how she chose life over limb. Emily Anne Gray (25), a Paralympic swimmer, lives in Johannesburg, Gauteng. Pain Being an 11-year-old, Emily loved running. So, when she began to feel an aching pain in her left leg, close to her hip joint, the physiotherapist’s reasoning that it was a muscle injury, from all the races she competed in, made sense. Though, after several different tissue treatments, the pain never subsided. Emily’s parents then took her to a chiropractor who sent her for X-rays,…