“MY FAMILY IS CANCER STRICKEN”
Written by: Thembelenkosini Makhuba
Masses gathered at this year’s Pink Cancer Awareness Walk, which was largely sponsored by the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) Student Housing Department.
The walk, organised by Qhakaza Ladies Network (QLN), took place at the Steve Biko Campus and ended at Bulwer Park in Glenwood on Saturday.
Cancer survivor, Zola Mdlalose, spoke about her journey as a survivor at the walk.
“My family is cancer stricken but we don’t let it rule us,” said Mdlalose.
Mdlalose, who was the main speaker at the walk, shared with the crowd her battle with cancer.
“My sister was diagnosed with intestinal cancer and she passed away in 2000. Six years later I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had half my breast removed. Some time after that I was diagnosed with cancer of the womb, and I had it taken out as well,” said Mdlalose.
Mdlalose is a mentor for the QLN and also an HIV counsellor at the Isolempilo Clinic at Steve Biko Campus. She emphasized the importance of educating the youth about diseases like cancer.
“My son was diagnosed with bone marrow cancer. It’s not only a disease that affects old people. It means a lot to me, knowing that young people are willing and want to know more about the disease,” added Mdlalose.
This was the first Pink Cancer Awareness walk by the Qhakaza Ladies Network.
Chairlady of the QLN, Lusizo Msweli, said that she was pleased with the turn out.
“Today we have atleast one hundred people here including a few children from St. Philomenas Childrens Home. We are a sisterhood and our objective today is to educate and inform,” said Msweli.
One of the St Philomena Children’s Home guardians, Nombuso Radebe, said that the home appreciates opportunities like these.
“We are happy to be here today. I hope the kids can try learn about cancer and be more aware of it because unlike HIV, cancer is different, it doesn’t have the standard medication,” said Radebe.
South African Metro police were also present throughout the walk to make sure the day’s proceedings took place as planned.
Caption: Cancer survivor Zola Mdlalose poses with participants after the walk.