What a year

As we are all aware, COVID has had a major impact worldwide.  Our breast clinic at Tygerberg Hospital has had to make many changes to stay accessible to the women who need to access our services. One of the changes we made in March was to get Internet access for the clinic and to purchase a tablet and laptop so we could maintain our communication with our patients and other departments.  Much of the funding for the upgrade came from the Pink Lady fundraising event held last year.

For 2020, the annual fundraiser had to become a virtual event.  Liza Matthews form Pink Lady Apples, put in a huge amount of time and energy to ensure it went ahead.  The theme has always been about learning a new craft. On Saturday, it was bread making.  Heleen Meyer took us through the process of making a basic bread dough.

I used flour milled at Mosterts Mill and managed to make some knotted bread rolls. Others used their dough to make sweet rolls with apple and cinnamon. Alternatively, rosemary and salt can be used to flavour savoury rolls.  

Whilst our bread was rising, Allet Johanni Winckler (image consultant) gave an inspirational talk.   The theme to the talk was “enough”.  She talked about the use (and misuse) of social media and how it can have the effect of making us feel inadequate as parents/people. The bottom line of her talk was whatever you have: it is enough.

At the annual crafts day, there are traditionally Pink Lady Apple bags full of useful objects.  Heleen drew names out of the hat for the recipients of the bags. Luckily, I was one of participants who won a bag. Another winner, Lina Botha, joined the event from London. I understand that she will be able to get hers from their office ther


Like many marathons worldwide, this year's Sanlam Cape Town Marathon was a virtual event.  It gave an opportunity for Zonny's Lovebox project to use it as a fund raising event. 

There were different options available.  The fit ran 21km: others ran or walked 10 or 5km. 

The aim was to raise R50000 to go towards the creation of love boxes. These are given to women with breast cancer who are seen and managed at Tygerbeg Hospital. The project honours Zondelia Lombard Swartz who died from breast cancer in September 2019.  

There was really excellent turnout and plenty of support from many members if the community. A particular thanks go to Stellenbosch University Anatomy society who hosted a refreshment station

If you wish to get involved with Zonnys Love box project, please contact: confettiangels@yahoo.com 

On behalf of all the patients with breast cancer seen and managed at Tygerberg Breast Clinic, I would like to say thank you to the many people involved with these fundraisers over the weekend


Pink Lady Apples: 10th annual craft day

On the last Saturday of October, it was my privilege to attend the 10th Pink Lady Apples annual fundraising event organised by Liza Matthews and Tania Fourie.  The money raised is to be used for the Tygerberg Breast Clinic transport fund,  

During the year, as part of the Wellness project, (run by the medical students in our breast clinic), we had exploratory conversations with women who had breast cancer.  They were asked about the barriers to care they faced. The number one barrier (40% of all women asked), said transport was their biggest challenge.  We cannot improve the public transport system, but we can compensate them for their fare. 

Mrs Frans from the TBH social work department, has taken over from Ms van Eck as the health care worked in charge of the fund.

The morning started at 0900 with welcome speeches from Tania and Lisa.  The first person to be thanked was Mike Burton (Rees Dynamic) who co sponsored the day. He was there at the event with his wife, Margeaux and their new daughter, Jess. 

Each year, the participants get to do a different craft. This year, Lourens, Colin, Marcell and Marinda from Cape Leather Training treated everyone to a morning making a leather bag.  Thank you so much.

 Other sponsors of the craft morning included the The Lord Charles Hotel, Spectrum sound, Le Creuset, Four Paws wines, Bacher & Co, Tart Supreme Coffee, Boland Promotions, Fresh Living, Chill Beverages, Nomu, Top Promotions, Media24, Mariaan van der Burgh, Rhodes, Woolworths, Hilton and Loretta, Shawn and Lindy (Lindy van Niekerk art gallery), and TopFruit 

Once the craft part of the morning was over, Esté and Lourens Rabie from the Bottomless Coffee Band played folk-rock and afro-blues for 1 hour. (They prefer to call their music, gourmet music)

Artist Solly SmookApart from the craft day, Pink Lady apples had 2 other fund-raising initiatives.  Solly Smook, a well-known South African artist generously offered to paint a custom artwork for us. It was auctioned in Johannesburg, and all R48 213 of the proceeds went towards the transport fund.
So, thank you very much Solly!

During October, Pink Lady apple partnered with Pick n Pay and a few suppliers to have a special Pink Lady® apple bag in stores in October. For every bag sold, R1 went towards the fund!  A big thank you to PnP for their support as well.

This is the 10th year of the craft fund raising initiative.  To celebrate, a short video was made starring Myrtle.  No matter what I say, I cannot begin to describe what a difference the transport fund makes to patients.  Thank you Myrtle for sharing your story.

At the end of the 3 fundraising initiatives, the total amount raised was R143 963.  Roy and Marion Jeffery (Top Fruit)  very generously gave an additional amount of money to make the final total to an amazing R150 000.
This bring the new total to R593 000

My personal thanks go to Lisa and Tania.  On behalf of all the patients you will probably never know and never meet, Thank you.


What's happening in TBH breast unit: Save the date

Fund raising events going on for Tygerberg Hospital breast clinic

Transport fund raiser.  Please feel free to come and join us and make a difference to patients' ability to complete their breast cancer treatment

Justin Marais: a final year medical student is running a marathon.  Please sponsor him:
You can track his progress on line. https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/justin-marais

Breast Course 4 Nurses

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Breast course for Nurses fundraiser.  13/12/19.  The location is still to be arranged.  Please contact Michelle Norris 0829204610.  Michelle.Norris@netcare.co.za


Medical students involvement in the breast unit at Tygerberg Hospital

At Tygerberg Breast unit, we have 4th and 5th year Stellenbosch University medical students rotating through.  Although the groups are quite big (15-20 students) we try to involve them in all the activities of the firm and ensure that their time with us is beneficial to both the patients and to them.

Image result for national wellness 6 componentsLast year, Dr Baatjes introduced a wellness programme.  Each group of students rotating through our firm have been asked to do a wellness project. Wellness, as a concept, is more complex than health.  Health can be defined as being free from disease.  Wellness is a more dynamic concept and, according to the National Wellness Institute, has 6 key components: environmental, spiritual, physical, intellectual, social and emotional.

We have had many different themes over the year including chair yoga, colouring in, meditation, origami, singing performances and ways to make you feel better.  Every second week, on Thursday, the students are asked to present their topic in the waiting room whilst patients are waiting to be seen in either the thyroid clinic or the breast clinic.  The presentations have been well received by patients and staff.  For us, it is a necessary break and time of reflection in what is otherwise a very long day.

Last weekend, Cape Town hosted the Cape Town marathon.  Over 26000 runners were involved in the event.  Justin Marais, a remarkable young medical student, used it as a warm up event for the Prison to Prison marathon. He will be running the event in December 2019, just as he qualifies, to raise funds for the Tygerberg breast unit.

You can track his progress on line https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/justin-marais

Thank you Justin