Taking place on Saturday, 4 February 2023 at the Anura Wine Estate in Klapmuts, Stellenbosch, the event is a family-friendly affair with something for everyone. It includes a 3km and 5km walk and a 10km run.
Whilst raising funds to support the three partner organisations, the event also provides an important platform to raise awareness across South Africa around this disease and the access to the vital care needed.
Says Salomé Meyer, project manager of Cancer Alliance: “The Cancer Alliance banner brings together all the cancer non-profit organisations as a united voice to commemorate World Cancer Day. Cancer is an important non-communicable disease that needs dedicated planning and management. In South Africa the disparities between the access to care for the medically insured and uninsured are a stark reality and many cancer patients do not receive timeous diagnosis and care. The Lace Up for Cancer event is an opportunity for us to bring together cancer survivors, their families, caregivers and cancer advocates, whilst raising funds to help cancer NPOs continue to provide their vital services.”
Leigh Meinert, advocacy and operations manager at HPCA adds: “This event is a cause close to our heart as our hospice members care for thousands of cancer patients per year. From our member hospices that submit patient statistics to us, the numbers reached over 4,000 for cancer patients supported by hospices. This does not take into consideration the many thousands that are assisted and not recorded on central databases. However, despite the importance of palliative care being available from diagnosis to any individual diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, we find that this care is often misunderstood and considered to be ‘end-of-life’ care. Every opportunity that we get to communicate to people that palliative care is holistic care provided to anyone from the point of diagnosis, is an opportunity that we gratefully seize. The more people who know that they can contact hospice from their initial diagnosis and be supported throughout the course of their treatment, the more people who can be supported on their cancer journey – be it curative or terminal.”
The last update to the South African National Cancer Registry was in 2019. At that time, the total number of cancer cases reported across the population was 85,373 – an increase of 3,728 from the previous registry update in 2017*. Says Meyer: “Cancer in South Africa is increasing drastically. It is only with dedicated and collaborative effort that we will be able to ensure sustainable cancer care for all moving forward. We need to Stand Up and Speak Up so that our collective voices are heard by policy makers.”
Lans Pepler, organiser of this year’s race on behalf of the three partners, often undertakes events to raise funds for charities. He says: ““An event of this nature promotes community and a sense of shared purpose by bringing people together in a physical and social setting while contributing funds to the charity with their entry fees.”
“Lace Up for Cancer brings families and communities together to be educated on early detection programmes while also doing something practical to help lower the cancer risk (physical movement),” says Elize Joubert, CEO of Cansa. “Early detection is key to overcoming a cancer diagnosis.
However, people who live in remote areas don’t always have access to information on how to lower their cancer risk or cancer screening. An event such as Lace Up for Cancer raises funds to assist us in our focus on closing the gap in cancer care by partnering with organisations and civic groups to make cancer information and screening accessible. Cansa Care Homes provide a home-away-from-home, including meals and transport to patients who live far away from treatment centres. This makes it possible for patients, who would otherwise not be able to, to receive treatment. We also offer free counselling through our Tele Counselling service, in seven languages, as well as Tele Stoma support making counselling and this level of support accessible to all. The Cansa website also provides free online resources and links to support groups for cancer patients, caregivers and loved ones. All fundraising efforts go a long way.”
Testicular cancer survivor, Torsten Koehler adds: “When I was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 1995 it was a dark and lonely journey. I couldn’t find any other testicular cancer survivor to talk to about my thoughts, feelings and fears (internet support groups like today didn’t exist). Typically, men don’t talk and we suffer in silence. Something like a run makes it easy for someone like me to join and make other men aware of testicular cancer, to encourage them to look after their health and to show that it is not embarrassing to talk about testicular cancer, your feelings and your fears. It’s 2023 – nobody should walk this journey alone!”
Leading Lace Up for Cancer sponsor, Life Healthcare, is an organisation that understands well the importance of cancer prevention, early diagnosis and access to treatment through its dedicated oncology and radiotherapy services. “We are proud to be supporting the event this year to help such worthy organisations in their mission to improve cancer care. This aligns with our purpose of Making Life Better and our commitment to providing quality patient care and clinical excellence to our patients across our private facilities in South Africa”, says Dr Louis Kathan, Life Healthcare chief medical officer, South Africa.
Entry fees range from R100 to R200 and children under 12 participate for free.
To register, visit https://entries.onsite-events.co.za/events/78554-lace-up-for-cancer-runwalk.<!>
* National Cancer Registry stats provided by Cansa