As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Reach for Recovery has once again been selected as the charity that will benefit from the Johannesburg SPAR Women’s 10km Challenge at Old Parktonians on October 14.
Many of the Reach for Recovery volunteers will be taking part in the SPAR Challenge, either doing the 10km Challenge or the 5km Fun Run. They can be identified by their pink t-shirts, but also because wherever they are, there is an atmosphere of fun and laughter.
They are an amazingly positive group of women who know all about the terror of being diagnosed with breast cancer, but they are also happy to talk about how they came through it with the support of other women who had been there as well.
Breast cancer is one of the most common diseases facing women. It knows no boundaries and is no respecter of social status, wealth, physical fitness or education. Some of the best known breast cancer conquerors are Sibongile Khumalo, Sheryl Crow, Cynthia Nixon, Christina Applegate, Kylie Minogue, Melissa Etheridge and Martina Navratilova, who all put up a brave and public battle against the disease.
But breast cancer is no longer necessarily a death sentence. Early detection and treatment can ensure that the patient lives a long and healthy life after the initial diagnosis. Nevertheless, the words ‘you have breast cancer’ strike terror into any woman’s heart, and this is where the Reach for Recovery volunteers come in.
Every member of Reach for Recovery has gone through the ordeal herself, and is able to understand exactly what the new patient is going through. Volunteers from the support group visit patients in hospital before and after the surgery, to talk about what is about to happen and to provide counselling. Because they have been through it themselves, they are able to reassure the patient that there is life after surgery.
So support Reach for Recovery by taking the Challenge, and show that you can also be a hero. Walkers are welcome in both races.