Extravaganza raises money for breast cancer

Pink Drive’s Tenielle October, left, accepts a cheque for R40 500, which was raised at the Sisterhood’s Extravaganza at the weekend. With her is event organiser Judy Thomas, middle, and Raffy Roberts from Raffy’s Style Secondhand Boutique.

The Sisterhood coloured The Blocc in Exeter Road, Wynberg, in bright shades of pink to raise money for breast cancer on Saturday.

More than R40 000 was raised for the PinkDrive, the non-profit organisation that focuses on breast cancer awareness and early detection.

Seventy women attended the event held at Raffy’s Style Secondhand Boutique, but festivities spread across The Blocc business park.

The Sisterhood is a community-based organisation of women who are currently fighting or have fought breast cancer, and those who have walked alongside a loved one fighting the dreaded disease. Their aim is to create awareness around early detection, so fewer lives are lost to breast cancer.

The Sisterhood’s founder, Judy Thomas, said she was diagnosed with aggressive cancer in 2015.

“Luckily for me, it was detected early. My cancer journey lasted 17 months. I had a lumpectomy, reconstruction, three various types of chemotherapy treatments and seven weeks of radiation. I was one of the fortunate few to have medical aid. Treatments are expensive. Just one of my chemo treatments cost R500 000 at the time.

“Ever since my diagnosis, I have been going to cancer fund-raising events. Every year, I would be shocked that only a handful of people who have walked this journey would attend. Sisterhood was a collective idea of really phenomenal ‘sisters’, to arrange a fund-raiser, create awareness and support the many women who are currently receiving treatment at the Breast Cancer Clinic at the Groote Schuur Hospital.”

Every cent raised went to the charity, said Ms Thomas, adding: “PinkDrive does amazing work in our communities. With their mobile unit, they offer free mammograms, breast screening and counselling to those women in need.”

No tickets were sold for the event, but attendees were asked to make a minimum contribution of R300.

The fund-raiser’s other objective was to create care packages for women receiving treatment at Groote Schuur, and the women attending were asked to each bring a scarf, to cover heads left bald and sensitive by chemo, and nail polish to coat nails discoloured by the treatment.

The care package also contained ginger biscuits for nausea; hand sanitiser and masks, as most of the women use public transport after treatment; a natural probiotic to build the immune system; and a magazine to read while receiving treatment.

Ms Thomas said some of the care packages had already been delivered to chemo patients at Groote Schuur’s Breast Cancer Clinic and the staff and nurses there had been treated to cupcakes.

Women came to support friends, fellow cancer survivors and patients. From left, are Shuné Pottier, Janine Mocke, Marcia Korsten and Tanya Cross.
Event organiser Judy Thomas, middle, with nurses and staff at Groote Schuur’s Breast Cancer Clinic, who received cupcakes.
The fund-raiser also called for donations of care packages for cancer patients. The packages included nail polish to coat nails discoloured by chemo.
A buffet spread was put together for the women who attended the Sisterhood’s Extravaganza.