Le Creuset Contribution to Cuppa Campaign & Winners 2015 Le Creuset Competition

CANSA is thankful to Le Creuset for supporting our Cuppa Campaign yet again.

For the fourth consecutive year, Le Creuset committed to assisting CANSA with their Cuppa For CANSA campaign. The focus for 2015, was on CANSA Care Homes, as reflected in the ‘Care in a Cup’ theme.

Le Creuset hosted their own ‘Grand Cuppa For CANSA’ tea parties at three of the country’s leading high tea establishments – in Johannesburg (Inanda Club), Durban (The Oyster Box) and Cape Town (The Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel), and raised a combined total of R174 115-00 for CANSA, with the generous support of attendees.

In addition, Le Creuset also boosted its own contribution by donating 15% of Chiffon Pink product sales during the campaign period (15 September to 31 October) to CANSA, amounting to R77 390-62.

Thank you Le Creuset!

Winners 2015 Le Creuset Competition Announced

As part of the campaign, Le Creuset challenged people all over the country to gather with friends and loved ones to share a friendly cuppa, in order to raise further awareness and funds for CANSA. Three fabulous category prizes were up for grabs, each consisting of a R5000 Le Creuset voucher.

Competition winners were thoroughly deserving – read more and be inspired by entrants’ fabulous Cuppa pics


Mrs SA Semi-Finalist Lizelle Knott cancer Survivor & Champion of Hope

Lizelle Knott post
Lizelle Knott

I am a wife, a mom, a cancer Survivor and also a Schwarzkopf Professional Mrs South Africa Semi-Finalist for 2016!

Winning the Mrs South Africa title would give me the opportunity to be a role model and to inspire others! I want someone, going through a similar journey as I did to look at me and say, “Because of you, I didn’t give up!”.

I want to encourage women who have been diagnosed with cancer to realise that regardless of the scars, or the hair loss or how sick they may feel, they are still beautiful. They’re still a woman, a wife, a mother. And they can do anything they put their minds to!

I’ve Survived Cancer TWICE

In 1996 I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 16, fourteen months after my dad was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver outside Uitenhage. I underwent surgery, radiation and 10 rounds of chemo. I was in Std. 9 (Grade 11) at the time. I also lost all my hair and spent 9 months of the year wearing a wig.

Then in 2014, I contacted my GP about a lump in my breast. Initially she was not concerned as I had undergone a few surgeries to remove lumps before and the results had all, thankfully, been clear.

I was sent for an ultrasound of my right breast which showed something worrying. The radiologist was concerned and decided I needed to go for a mammogram urgently. The mammogram showed nothing. The radiologist then decided to do a needle biopsy into the lump using an ultrasound for guidance.

The needle biopsy results confirmed his suspicions. The lump was malignant. So on 29 January 2014, at the age of 33, I was diagnosed with cancer a second time. This time breast cancer in my right breast. My little boy was only 14 months old at the time.

On 13 February 2014, I underwent a unilateral mastectomy and immediate reconstruction to my right breast.

At the time we hoped that the surgery would remove all the cancer, but unfortunately it had spread to my lymph nodes and I would need chemo. The doctors also felt that since I was under the age of 40 the chemo was a vital step in ensuring that the cancer did not reoccur at a later stage.

I was devastated. This would be the 2nd time in my life that I needed to go through chemotherapy. On 16 April 2014 I had my first round of six chemo sessions for breast cancer. My last chemo was on 31 July 2014.

I feel so fortunate to have read about Cold Caps on the internet before starting chemo and my husband and I decided I should give them a try. Thanks to the minus 32 degree celcius Cold Caps freezing my head, I managed to save most of my hair and didn’t look like the typical chemo patient! Both Longevity Magazine and Your Family featured articles on my use of Cold Caps and I hope that it raises awareness so that other cancer patients can benefit from it.

A CANSA Champion of Hope

I am also a member of CANSA’s Facebook Support Group for cancer Survivors (patients / those in remission) “Champions of Hope – CANSA Survivors” – please sign up here if you should need support…

Why Enter the Mrs SA Pageant?

Mrs South Africa is the number one pageant for married women in South Africa and is seen as a women empowerment program, not a beauty pageant in the traditional sense of the word.

Mrs South Africa Winners, Finalists and Entrants, are usually successful business women, mothers and wives with a high LSM and between the ages of 25-50 years. Most entrants have their own businesses or are in a stable career environment and sometimes even hold very high positions in corporate companies. Mrs South Africa is married, sophisticated, beautiful!

As you may already know, our reigning Mrs South Africa, Candice Abrahams, was recently announced as Mrs World. It makes this whole competition even more exciting for those of us embarking on this journey.

The sole beneficiary of the competition is CANSA, and with it being a cause so close to my heart, as I have beaten cancer twice, this was my motivation for entering. Read more about Mrs SA and CANSA’s partnership…

I am hoping the competition will provide me with a platform to tell my story to others and motivate those going through a similar experience to persevere. It will also provide me with an awesome opportunity to work with CANSA and to assist them in raising awareness and much needed funds for service delivery to those affected by cancer.

Live, Love, Laugh and Don’t Give Up

Helen Barnard shared her story recently at the 12 Apostles Cuppa Event:

Celebrating my cousins birthday during chemo
Helen celebrating her cousin’s birthday during chemo…

In 2009 my gynaecologist suggested I have a total hysterectomy, and to go on hormone replacement tablets.

In Feb 2011 they detected a lump in my left breast when I went for my yearly mammogram and they removed it – it was found to be benign.

In Sept 2011 my cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer. Being very close family we were all shocked. We all supported her for the Ithemba walk, but if I look back we did not really know what my cousin was going through or feeling.

In January 2012, I decided to do one of the items on my bucket list – I wanted my motorbike licence. After going to a driving school, with no bike of my own, I eventually received my licence. A very proud 53 year old. Another goal achieved.

My friend Lyn and I used to meet up at the local pub, have our two brandy and cokes and then go off home. This was done diligently every Friday, as Lyn used to work long hours and a Friday night was the only night she felt she had to entertain herself.

At times I did not feel like going, but felt so guilty that I just used to go along so I could see Lyn’s smiling face when entering the pub. She was a quiet person. Never said much, but soon got to know everyone and she came out of her shell.

During our chats she said that she had problems with her neck I eventually convinced her to see a doctor, as the physiotherapist sessions had not helped her. She was then informed that she had cancer (a tumour in her neck) a very rare bone cancer that was only diagnosed from a Professior in Bloemfontein after quite some time. I was shocked.

Not 2 months later, I told her that I had something to tell her – I HAD CANCER – we politely laughed it off and said we were not returning to the local pub, as it was not brandy and coke, but brandy and cancer that the two of us had got.

Sharing a special moment with Lyn…

Lyn had a difficult time with chemo, radiation and skin graft. We were due to visit her on a Tuesday night and in the early hours of the morning, we were informed that Lyn had passed away. I missed her as we used to have regular chats re what we both were going through, and the times that we had spent together at the local pub and New Year’s Eve dances (she loved dancing).

At the end of Feb 2012, I went for my yearly mammogram. Once again there appeared to be a suspicion that something was not right.

This had happened so many times previously, so when they called the doctor to come and check it, I was not at all concerned. She was a lovely Indian doctor and her comment to me was “ this time it looks like it is going to be positive.”

My reaction was to say “ok”. They then decided to book me in for a needle biopsy. I got a call from my surgeon at work – his words – my girlie you have cancer. Not even 6 months after my cousins diagnosis (diagnosed 1 March 2012, Grade III Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma). This cancer starts in a duct then breaks through the duct wall and invades the fatty tissue of the breast. This is the most common one.

I had no reaction. I think I just accepted it. I picked up the phone and politely told my two sons over the phone, which today I don’t think was right, and said I had cancer. My youngest son doesn’t show emotion. That evening we had a family braai. I noticed him standing all alone in the dark and went up to him to ask him whether he was alright. He burst out crying. This was the first time in years that I had seen him break down and cry. It killed me to see him hurting so much. I also informed my sister who cried her eyes out, but I just told her I would be fine.

I had booked to go to Thailand in April, but was advised to have my breast removed immediately. The cancer was aggressive and was advised I start the necessary chemo and radiation. This trip was cancelled immediately.

On 12 March 2012 I was admitted to hospital – my sister right behind me in the theatre, as well as my friend. All people around me at theatre wished me well, with tears around me from my sister and friend. I tried to be strong but the tears rolled slowly down my face. I turned away as I didn’t want them to see how frightened I really was . When I woke up I realised the reality of the situation. My breast was gone, but still nothing. All I could do was be strong. I could not afford to break down. I had a long road ahead. Little did I know how long that road would be.

I recovered quickly and my plastic surgeon came and told me what was in store for me in the future and how she was going to reconstruct the breast. I requested that I had a skin saving reconstruction done. In this way she did not have to use part of my shoulder muscle to build up a new breast. What she did was she put an expander under my skin and every 3 weeks or so I would go and have some liquid injected into a port which would stretch my skin. This would be done until my skin had been stretched until the required size and left like that until 6 – 9 months after radium had been completed. This would give the skin enough time to heal.

I had to wait for about 3 weeks after the breast removal until chemo began. I did not know what to expect. I met with my oncologist who explained that I would have 4 red devil sessions (this was very strong chemo) with three weeks apart, then another 12 weekly sessions of chemo, a break of 3 weeks and then 5 weeks of daily radium sessions. Thereafter I would be put on a tablet for 5 years (Arimidex).

I was told that within the second week after the first red devil session I would begin to lose my hair. Once I experienced the loss of hair, I should go and have it all shaved off, as it becomes very traumatic. My hair had always been healthy, long and very dark.

By the second week I started experiencing the hair loss. It became so bad that I looked like Mo from the 3 Stooges. A bald patch right through the middle with hair only on the sides. When I brushed my hair, it started to come out in bunches. I then decided that I would go and have my hair shaved off by my hairdresser that had cut my hair for

He knew what I was going through and when I sat down with him – his words to me were, “Are you ready for this?” He put his hands through my hair and there and then the hair came out in bunches in his hands. His answer was, “Yes, I can see what you mean, it has to come off.”

He started to shave my hair and slowly the tears rolled down my face. I didn’t sob as I did not want anyone to see what I was going through, but by this time all eyes was on me and people started to come up to me to tell me how brave I was, how they had shaved their hair for their mom, and one woman started to cry. I got up and went to comfort her telling her that I would be fine. That helped me that I had to comfort someone else.

I had my wigs with me – I had purchased them while I still had hair as this helped the lady decide which would be best for me as she could see what I looked like before my hair loss. I had a short wig (bob style) and one that was just like I currently look – long and in layers. My hairdresser was fantastic, and I am thankful to him for his sensitivity to my situation.

My eyebrows and eyelashes also fell out. I attended a Look Good feel Better day. Here they taught you how to put makeup on such as drawing eyebrows, how you had to measure it so it looked the same and in the right place, and line your eyes so that it was not noticeable that you had no eyelashes.

I experienced many funny situations with my wigs, which my friends had many laughs about:

When coming out of the hospital one day, I walked to my car in the howling South Easter. As someone wanted my parking space, I directed him to my car and the next minute I felt my wig blow off into the wind. Well, the man’s face in the car was that of disbelief. He didnt know to react. By that time my cousin had run down the road after my wig!

Another time it was my birthday and we went to The Mount Nelson Hotel for high tea. There was an elderly gentleman serving us and handed me my cup of tea and at that point the wig fell backwards and I was wigless. The faces around me were priceless. He tried to comfort me by saying that I was beautiful with or without a wig. But I told him I was ok, that I was laughing and not crying. Needless to say he did not return.

My two sons took me to lunch one day. We were sitting on a balcony – it became very hot and I asked them if it would be ok if I took the wig off – their replied, “Whatever makes you comfortable mom.” I then took it off which resulted in funny looks around me – people did not know whether to look , whether to smile, or pretend they had not noticed. I just carried on with our lunch of course!

My wigs sometimes looked like a wig and other times you would think it was my normal look. I would confuse friends on a daily basis by never looking the same, wigs changed, bandanas or sometimes just going plain au naturel.

I took strain with the first rounds of chemo – some sessions I could not do within the required period as my blood levels weren’t right, so I had to wait until the following week.

The first time that I could not go for chemo due to my blood levels upset me terribly – I thought I had done something wrong. I soon learned that it was not me. My body had to build itself up. No amount of whatever I would take would help my blood levels.

I would go to chemo on a Wednesday and go back to work on the Monday. Sometimes dragging myself there and feeling so weak still, but knowing that as I was alone and had no partner in life, I could not jeopardize my job with my illness.

My sister (a real Florence Nightingale) would arrive on a Wednesday after work ready to look after me. Here she would cook up a meal and open up all the windows and doors so I did not get nauseous from the smells.

Well chemo had certainly taken its toll. I was tired but pushed myself on, knowing that I had to find light at the end of the tunnel.

I would surround myself with positive people. Some people had the nerve to tell me I was going to die and that chemo would just prolong my life – I cut them out of my life. My support system was great. I did not have to see anyone. Small things like a bbm, text message and phone call helped me get through all of it.

I received a lot of support from a group of people from a Music Group (this group of people would often raise funds for people in need of support – such as cancer). What a support group they proved to be and still are. They laughed and cried with me.

I met so many people during the time that I was under chemotherapy. I knew exactly who the new patients were and would always go over and chat to them and encourage them, even if I knew the news was not good.

They always used to ask me why I was there. They would not believe what I was going through, as I was always laughing. I also always had a wig on. When they said they could not believe I was also ill, I would take my wig off and show my baldness.

I was known as the lady who was always laughing and going to the loo, as the drip made me constantly run off to the ladies. I would have the patients in fits of laughter with all my stories. At times I would nod off due to the chemo, and find a sister waking me up to say that the treatment for the day was finished.

Once I started my weekly sessions I would drive myself to and from chemo – trying at all times to be as independent as possible and not relying on help from others. My normal housework routine continued throughout my illness, and my son would treat me no differently. He believed by treating me as if I weren’t ill, it would give me strength, and I do believe this worked. He never allowed me to let my illness get me down. He would joke with me (even though inwardly I knew he was hurting to see me go through all of this).

In October, once again as a family we did the Ithemba walk, and even though on chemo I managed to do the 5 km.

Ithemba Walk

On a Sunday when going for a drive – I would not have the strength to even get to the car, but I would force myself and when getting to the beach – which was where I would want to be – I would stare out at the ocean with the thought of why me? That thought soon became something of the past. I felt I didn’t have the right to ask the question, but to accept it.

On 31 October 2012 my chemo sessions were completed. I was over the moon. I remember the door opened, and all I could see were balloons. As they came nearer I soon realised that it was my friends. Well it certainly brightened up the whole room. The men in the room could not keep their eyes off the beautiful women, and it brought smiles to all around. What a wonderful sight this was, as well as an amazing feeling that I was loved by these people, who had come to celebrate this special day.

Celebration of end of Chemo
Celebrating after chemo…

People would tell me what I should take that would take cancer away completely – I know everyone meant well – but I do believe that faith in God, as well as having a positive attitude helps.

I changed my Oncologist once I commenced with radium treatment. My new Oncologist took the time to answer all the questions that I never had answers to previously – this made me feel so much more confident in where I was going.

The problem was that I had never had this illness before and never knew what to expect. I needed reassurance of where I was going. The new practice showed concern for me, going out of their way to assure me of their assistance at all times, advising me of who I was seeing each week and giving me the confidence in the treatment
that I was been given. (This was very important to me).

On 29 December 2012 I completed my radiation. The new year was to commence for me with all my treatment completed.

I felt like a weight had been taken off my shoulders. I wanted to go up Table Mountain to celebrate. It was too windy and so I went up to Signal Hill, wind and all, and let 5 balloons loose in the wind. Each balloon had a meaning. My life was starting fresh and my year of treatment had ended.

In January 2013, I had all my tests done and was given the all clear. My doctor confirmed I was in remission and my 5 year medication started.

I only wish that my friend Lynette was with me today to get the same results. I can say however, that my cousin who was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of months before me, has also been given the all clear.

People tend to think that once in remission all is ok, but the fear when you go for your check-ups is still there. The joints in your body may still ache and your feet may still be numb.

We are not all so lucky to have a support system . When people say they have cancer, you tend to think of it as a death warrant, but there IS HOPE and for many of us light at the end of the tunnel.

My hair has started to grow back and I can flutter my eyelashes again.

I still live on sleeping tablets as I don’t sleep; find my hands and fingers clenched at times and then I have to remind myself to be calm and relax. But it is not all that easy…

I have since been boarded due to Fibromyolgia & arthritis and because I need to take a large amount of medication to manage my pain and keep me going.

Thank You God for being with me all the way. Through my experience I am hoping to help others through their tough times.

I can also say thank you for the times that I was able to have special weekends away while I was ill. Many a time I would stare at the sea that went on for miles in front of me and that is where my mind was at times. (A feeling of never knowing what to expect or where you were).

I definitely live life to the fullest and make the best of any circumstance that arises.

I have since had reconstruction done to my breast in the last 3 years. My last operation was in June 2015. It has been a success. My nipple has been reconstructed. My plastic surgeon advised me that this would come from the inside of my leg. The result could not have been better. (Smile).

I have however since had two knee operations, and been diagnosed with Barrett’s Syndrome (which means I have to go for regular scopes).

But I am still living life to the fullest (LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH and DON’T GIVE UP!)

So burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. TODAY is special!

Candice Fehrsen – My Lump In The Road #MyStory

Candice Fehrsen – My Lump In The Road #MyStory

Candice Fehrsen (Mrs SA Pageant Manager) shares her story:

When Mrs South Africa CEO, Joani Johnson made the decision to support The Cancer Association of South Africa as our official charity, I remember writing a press release, something along the lines of having chosen CANSA as cancer did not discriminate, even as I wrote the words, I never dreamed that cancer wouldn’t discriminate against me…

Candice Post

I am a health insurers dream. I lead a healthy lifestyle, as a woman who has decided to opt out of motherhood I had never been admitted to hospital, for anything. The only reason for going to such a place is to visit other people, and I am not quite adventurous enough to ever have suffered a sporting injury and I have great genes, no significant family history of anything noteworthy – my grandmother, who I loved, did die of cancer at the age of 77, but her ‘negligence’ in obtaining such a disease was regarded a product of old age and nothing to do with the integrity of our superior gene pool!

So the morning I felt a strange hard-ish lump in my left breast, my thoughts were, why am I feeling my breast anyway? I wasn’t officially examining my breast when I felt the lump, my hand just ‘found’ its way there, it felt a little odd, but I wasn’t particularly worried.

I confess to having lied about my self-examination habits to both my gyne and GP. When specifically asked if I did my breast examinations, my response would be a wide-eyed nod of my head and a mumble that I hoped would be translated as the affirmative.

After not a little encouragement from my husband I made an appointment to see my GP. I arrived, rather embarrassed, for the consultation, walking into the Dr’s surgery, I blurted out ‘my husband made me come’, after all, nobody likes a time waster and I was sure my being there was an over-reaction and it was important that she know I am not a paranoid neurotic.

My GP was wonderful, she spent some time describing the various lumps to me, the ones to worry about and the ones not to worry about. After our chat, I confidently declared that I had nothing to be concerned about. My lovely GP insisted she be the one to decide if further investigation would be necessary and after examining my breast, declared my lump ‘a little bit harder than I would like’, and insisted I make an appointment for a scan.

I shrugged, there was no need for such fuss, Gran did not have breast cancer and anyway my breasts were too small to warrant such concern. I would be away on business for the following 2 weeks and we could schedule something when I returned. However, she insisted we make the appointment before I left and so it was settled for Friday, two days’ time.

I arrived for my scan and filled out the forms, always so many forms. I then reported to the X-ray room. The technician looked perplexed and said I should be having a mammogram, a Doctor then appeared out of nowhere and told me my GP had changed her mind – she now wanted me to have a mammogram. I nodded, rescheduled for later that day and returned a few hours later.

While the mammogram was uncomfortable, it wasn’t as horrendous as some say, I was still feeling rather blasé. I am not sure the mammogram revealed anything, and I was back on the bed for a scan. The Dr asked if I had ever had any surgery on my breasts. I giggled a ‘no’, tempted to reply that ‘Yes, I was a AAA but am now a full A cup’.

I was asked where the lump was. I showed them and it was found on the scan. It was oval in shape and dark in colour. Next I knew they were taking a biopsy – not nice, not nice at all. I looked away – unfortunately looking away meant looking into the monitor where I could see the needle entering my body.

While I do not consider myself a hypochondriac – I am rather squeamish so I closed my eyes. I remember opening them to see the assistant peering at my sample and thinking to myself – can she see if it is cancer? To my dismay another sample had to be taken, this time from the assumed healthy tissue.

I won’t lie, I left the appointment rather rattled, my bravado dwindled by the biopsy.

I had not expected anything other than a friendly chat with my GP and now I had had a mammogram, a scan and a biopsy. The biopsy hurt! I was uncomfortable and I was much more upset than I felt a rational human being should be, from now on I would be much nicer to anyone having biopsies.

My GP phoned after the appointment, she said that she couldn’t stop thinking about me and that was why she had changed the appointment to a mammogram, and kindly told me she was now ‘worried’ and promised to chase the lab down for my results on the Monday morning. It seemed impossible that her fears were founded and so I decided to ignore them for the weekend.

I was not quite as brave as I hoped I would be – a colleague was unfortunate enough to call at that moment and I shared my panicked fears, we reassured each other that this was all a precaution and that I was over-reacting. I apologised for being such a drama queen and conceded that if it was anyone else behaving so irrationally I would be rolling my eyes. I did make it clear that in future I would be very nice to anyone having a biopsy – they weren’t nice.

So the weekend went – I did confide in another friend, someone with a little more experience in this area than myself, there was some ‘eye-leakage’ and I again promised to be much more sympathetic to other people’s fears in future.

Monday came and a phone call – this time from the Dr’s receptionist asking me to come in as soon as possible. I reassured my husband that he needn’t come – I think we both had this irrational idea that by not going together we could force the news to be good.

But it wasn’t good news, breast cancer was confirmed, my GP phoned Tim, my husband, to ask him to come to the surgery, where she explained and updated us. She had made an appointment with the surgeon the next morning! I would in all likelihood keep my breast and my hair – but there would be an operation, radiation and possibly chemotherapy.

I remember coming home and telling Tim that I wasn’t going to phone my parents until after I had seen the surgeon. Tim, ever the sensible one, insisted that they would need to know and that it would make no difference to them when they found out. I remember us sitting on the couch together holding hands while I called. Dad answered the phone, delighted to hear from his ‘Cuddles’. I asked him to put mom on the phone as I had news they needed to hear together.

Unfortunately I did not elegantly deliver my news. I broke down and tearfully told them ‘I have cancer’. I then went on to apologise like a naughty child. I remember deep intakes of breath, mom asking ‘where’ and my hysterically giggling – ‘breast cancer’. Her saying ‘no, no, no, it can’t be’ me going, it is so.

Telling mom and dad was my most emotional moment, but it gave me such relief. They knew. I had their love support and prayers and I felt better, probably better than they felt. With my permission it was agreed that we wouldn’t keep my condition quiet, and that while I didn’t want it on Facebook or announced from the pulpit, I did not expect it to be kept a secret. Within the hour my brothers had called, my mom’s best friend was on the WhatsApp pledging her love, support and prayers. Tim phoned his parents to tell them, and as we told people the burden lifted.

Tim and I started to refer to my cancer as our lump in the road.

The next morning we saw the surgeon, and a date was set for two weeks’ time. The prognosis was good, very early detection and teeny, tiny lump.

I set up a coffee date and invited my close friends and told them my news all at once. They have without exception been the most fabulous support to me, they have provided food and gifts, love, support and prayer.

Candice 2 postMy surgery was successful and the lump was entirely removed, there were some funny (depending on your perspective) ‘coming out of anaesthetic’ moments…

Apparently I was howling like a banshee in pain – while Tim is still traumatised by this I have no recollection.

I also don’t recall ‘ordering’ and devouring salmon sashimi and strawberries and cream for lunch – this was apparently not wasted on me, as afterwards I was allowed pain killers, which apparently I needed.

Unfortunately further tests results showed a grade 3 tumour, HER2+.

After a special test in California, of all places, a very high possibility of a distant recurrence and so, on my oncologists advice I started chemotherapy on the 13 October 2015.

On the 3rd November Tim shaved my head, it was hard of course. But there are advantages to having no hair. I get an entire wardrobe just for my head!

Everybody likes your photo on Facebook, and I get to save lots of money on the ‘Christmas Colour’ and Summer waxes.

Not to mention the comparisons to GI Jane (and I didn’t even have to work out), Sinaed O’Conner and Charlize Theron (Mad Max).

Even from where I am now in the process, I am so grateful!

Early detection and teeny tiny lump means that I have an excellent prognosis and I have a very high probability of best case scenario, as in all likelihood I won’t have a recurrence and any danger of that will halted forever, as a result of my treatment.

So my message?

Tim & Candice post

  • If you feel any sort of lump whatsoever in your breast – GO TO THE DOCTOR. I feel so blessed to have caught my cancer early. My experience has been edifying. I can beat cancer! I caught it early and dealt with it. Teeny tiny lumps result in victory!
  • Only go to Doctors you trust. Make the decision before you go to trust your doctor and to do as they suggest.
  • Stay off the internet. To this day we have not looked up anything on the internet, we rely solely on what the doctors have told us and we have tremendous peace that they know what is best.
  • Tell your friends and the people you love. I promise you will feel better than they do. A burden is lifted when you share your story, your friends will want to support you – so let them! I found that by sharing I focussed on myself for that moment and then I was able to cast my thoughts away to other things.
  • Life goes on. Allow yourself to carry on as normal and focus on the positive.

To my husband Tim, my mom and dad, brothers, family and friends, your love and support over this time has been more than I could ever have expected of you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Mrs SA Contestants Raise R1 Million for CANSA

We are extremely grateful to our Mrs SA Finalists who have once again been hard at work, showing that they have a heart for CANSA & those affected by cancer and raised a whopping R1 Million for CANSA this year!

Mrs SA Certificates Appreciation cropped
Mrs SA Finalists received Certificates of Appreciation from CANSA

Candice Abrahams was recently crowned Mrs SA 2016 and CANSA helped choose Mrs SA Charity 2016, Riandi Conradie.

Find out more about Mrs SA Contestants’ fundraising efforts for CANSA…

Lovilee Website Features Inspiring Cuppa’s

Lovilee submissions from Cuppa hostesses were received and featured on www.lovilee.co.za

Laura Thomas (2014):

“My mom has always felt strongly about supporting CANSA. Both her mother & grandmother had cancer & passed away at an early age, so it was very meaningful for her to host a Cuppa for CANSA tea party in their memory. It’s also a cause close to my heart, & it was an honour to help with the planning & the décor.”


Inge Newport (2013):


Emperors Palace High Tea in Aid of Cuppa For CANSA

On Thursday afternoon, October 9th 2014, Emperors Palace hosted a Cuppa For CANSA High Tea at Aurelia’s Restaurant in the 5-star D’oreale Grande Hotel. Celebrity guests that attended were treated to a feast fit for a queen.

At the function CANSA’s Corporate Relationship Manager, Munnik Marais, announced that a percentage of monies raised from the High Tea’s held at Aurelia’s on Saturday afternoons during October, would be donated to CANSA.

Among the celebrities who attended the event – which gave those attending the opportunity to socialise and share stories about friends and loved ones who have been effected by cancer and to raise funds for CANSA – was award-winning sport presenter, Carol Tshabalala; actress and television presenter, Ashley Hayden; Mrs SA 2015 First Princess, Riana Mooi, Mrs SA 2015 Charity, Talita Jansen van Vuuren and Mrs SA 2015, Sarah-Kate Scott.

Also in attendance was Emperors Palace GM: Hotel and Resorts, Wayne Hill of Bruma and Peermont Corporate Affairs & CSI Executive, Vusi Zwane of Bryanston and businesswoman, Juanita Mitchell & Mandy Leisher of Bassonia and Esti Lindner, CANSA.

(Photographs courtesy of Yolanda van der Stoep).

Northlands Primary School Hosts Kids Cuppa For CANSA

Northlands Primary School Hosted a two-day Cuppa for CANSA at the school, based in Durban North, on the 18th & 19th September 2014.

The kids had their own Cuppa – each child had to bring R10 to school and received a juice and cupcake on the 18th.

On the 19th of September, a Cuppa was held for moms, friends and families at the school’s coffee shop, the ‘Tree House’.

Raffles were held & wonderful prizes won and CANSA organised Clinical Breast Exams in our Mobile Health Clinic, for those who wished to be examined.

It is wonderful to see our youth and schools supporting CANSA & those affected by cancer – what a bright future indeed if the ‘youth that care’ today, become our country’s ‘caring leaders’ of tomorrow….

We would like to thank Northlands Primary School for their wonderful participation in the fight against cancer!