Journey of Hope rides through Thaba

THABAZIMBI – The Department of Health and Social Development in Thabazimbi had the pleasure of hosting the Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign at the Thabazimbi Town Clinic on Friday 14 October 2011 in celebration of Breast Cancer Month.

The campaign was led by the Journey of Hope Breast Cancer survivors who travelled across the country to spread the message of hope. The motorcycle ride started on 9 October in Pretoria and ended on 15 October in Hartebeespoort.

They aim to bring hope and encouragement in an upbeat, positive and unique manner through the courage and the drive of women, chosen each year for this special journey.

Mayor Patricia Mosito also brought a powerful message of hope, truth and inspiration. She said Thabazimbi is home to 15773 women who all need to hear the message of breast cancer detection. With 11 clinics and three mobile clinics, the Department of Health should realize that this may not be enough. Mayor Mosito then talked about the role of women in the society. “Why should we perish because of cancer? Women of today should be aware that no life needs to be lost because of cancer. Know your status. Cancer exists. Cancer can be beaten.”

The Journey of Hope project aims to create awareness for early detection, to provide education on breast health, to raise funds to make a difference in the lives of women and men who lost a breast due to breast cancer.

The project was initiated by Diane Parker who was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2004. She had found support from other breast cancer survivors Chrissy Jeavons, Aileen Taylor and Nellie Ndwambi when the project, Biking for Breast Health, took place in October 2006. The idea of Journey of Hope (a registered Section 21 company) was born and the founders, Diane Parker and Aileen Taylor, took a slightly different approach than in the 2006 ride through increasing awareness and reaching more South Africans.

The Journey of Hope focuses on celebrating the lives of breast cancer survivors.  In South Africa, the incidence of breast cancer has overtaken that of cervical cancer. One in 27 women is diagnosed with breast cancer. Cancer does not discriminate against colour or race as 17.9% of white women, 24.4% of Asian women, 18.2% of coloured women and 13.3% of African women are diagnosed with breast cancer. With early detection and appropriate treatment, the survival rate is 95%. Due to ignorance and lack of information and awareness, many women die of breast cancer in South Africa. This picture could look very different.

For more information, visit their website www.journeyofhope.co.za or contact 082 840 3633.