News

Tygerberg Hospital Breast Cancer Unit peer supporters receive top award

13 September 2017

Five phenomenal ladies at Tygerberg Hospital’s peer support programme have been a rock to hundreds of breast cancer patients through visiting them in the wards on a daily basis to share valuable information on self-healthcare after their operation. Once treatment has been completed, patients are given a supply of silicone prosthesis from the Reach for Recovery Ditto Project.

In total the five peer support volunteers have reached out and improved the lives of approximately 495 breast cancer patients over three years and in recognizing their selfless and at times tiresome work, they were awarded with peer support accolades at the 50th Celebration Conference of Reach for Recovery, South Africa.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer among South African women, and approximately one out of every 8 women reaching 85 years and older are at risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime,” said Dr Karin Baatjes at Tygerberg Hospital Breast Cancer Unit. “These volunteers each supported thirty-three patients over the three years, which proves to be a huge milestone and a reflection of their dedication to our patients,” said Dr Baatjes.

“Since I was treated by Dr Baatjes and Professor Apffelstaedt, I want to plough back in the community and want to teach ignorant people how cancer can affect one’s life,” said Yolanda Barry a 50 year old breast cancer survivor and peer support volunteer and awardee. “I have been volunteering at the hospital for five years and I am very excited about the award received,” she addedy.

“Every woman should examine their breasts. It might not be cancer, but prevention is better than cure. Support from the families plays a huge part in one’s fight against cancer, said Mrs Cora Swano, who was diagnosed in 2007.  “We at the Tygerberg Hospital Breast Cancer Unit are very pleased and grateful towards the volunteers of Reach for Recovery who themselves as prior patients are now supporting new breast cancer patients,” said Dr Baatjes.

To find out how you can become a breast cancer peer support volunteer please contact reach for recovery on 072 433 0127 or email coraswano57@gmail.com

Media Enquiries: 

Laticia Pienaar
Principal Communications Officer
Tel: 021 938 5454
Cel: 081 039 4050
E-mail: Laticia.Pienaar@westerncape.gov.za