67 Ways to Help Combat Cancer

by Tia

Regular commutes to medical facilities for treatment are unaffordable for some cancer patients and their families. Others can’t meet the cost of essential home care and then there are those who suffer in silence, not knowing that there are free counselling and support services available to them. This is where the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) makes a significant difference to cancer patients, and it needs the public’s help to make its services are available to more patients who simply cannot afford what it takes to get better.

#MandelaDay2024  #It’sInYourHands  #CANSACares  #FightingCancerTogether  

‘It’s still in our hands to combat poverty and inequity’, is this year’s Mandela Day theme that focuses volunteers’ efforts into 67 minutes of service on 18 July each year, one minute for each of Nelson Mandela’s years of public service. For some, however, making a positive impact in people’s lives, is a full-time job that continues throughout the year.  

“Poverty and inequity cut across many areas including access to housing, education, fresh water, and health services,” says Lisa Strydom, CANSA’s National Manager: Care and Support. “We see it all too often in the treatment of all types of cancers.”  

CANSA works to provide a wide range of services and support not only to cancer patients who can afford them, but also to those who can’t. One of the most important ways for a patient to recover from cancer is to have regular treatment at a medical facility. CANSA operates seven CANSA Care Homes across the country which are close to medical facilities and are able to house patients while they undergo treatment. At some Homes, family members or caregivers can also be housed, providing there is space.   

“The Care Home staff and volunteers make a huge difference in so many cancer patients’ lives,” says Gavin Kester, CANSA’s Care Homes Service Manager. “We ensure that patients are given the opportunity to receive and complete their cancer treatment, without having long daily commutes to treatment centres.”  

Accommodation is available at a nominal rate and patient income is taken into consideration to cater for those that cannot afford it. The typical length of stay is six to eight weeks with the patients going home on weekends. CANSA operates seven care homes: Strelitzia in the Eastern Cape, Olea Katleho in the Free State, Tipuana in Gauteng, Mkhuhla in KwaZulu-Natal, and EikehofTygerberg and Irma Bruschi in the Western Cape. 

In addition to accommodation and meals for a nominal fee, each of the care homes provides the following free of charge: transport to and from treatment centres, a cancer information kit, individual counselling and support groups, and spiritual support provided by ministers from various denominations if the patient requests it. Reasonable fees or donations are required for the hire of medical equipment, such as wheelchairs and walking aids; and for assistive devices, such as wigs and breast prostheses.   

67 ways in which You can help CANSA’s Care Homes to help Others 

CANSA’s Care Homes depend on individual donations and funds raised by CANSA. In addition, each home has specific needs that are listed at the bottom of each Care Home’s web page

Donations of new or pre-owned items, as well as food and cleaning materials are always appreciated.

Online donations can be made or visit our personal donations options web page to find other ways of giving.  

Here are the top items on their needs list:

Please contact gkester@cansa.org.za to donate or get involved…

CANSA Strelitzia Care Home, Newton Park, Gqeberha, Eastern Cape  

One generator, two JoJo water tanks, curtains, one steam iron and one fire alarm detection system. https://cansa.org.za/cansas-care-support/cansa-strelitzia-care-home/  

CANSA Olea Katleho Care Home, Bloemfontein, Free State 

Other items – three Jojo 5250 litre water tanks, one large generator, two gas heaters, 30 bed comforter sets, Floor tiles for the rooms, passage and reception area. https://cansa.org.za/cansas-care-support/cansa-olea-katleho-care-home/  

CANSA Tipuana Care Home, Rietfontein, Pretoria, Gauteng 

All rooms need painting inside, 25 mattresses, 60 pillows, two air fryers, one large dishwasher and one smart TV. https://cansa.org.za/cansas-care-support/cansa-tipuana-care-home/  

CANSA Mkhuhla Care Home, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal  

The Home needs a new door frame, four air conditioners, vehicle fuel, maintenance and service vouchers, Humidifiers, new bath sheets and single bed linen, stationery: printer paper, highlighters, pens, pencils, staples, arch lever files, file dividers, and filing sleeves. https://cansa.org.za/cansas-care-support/cansa-mkhuhla-care-home/ 

CANSA Eikehof Care Home, Athlone, Cape Town 

Needs a Jojo connection, crockery (bowls, plates, and cups), cutlery (teaspoons and spoons), couches for lounge area, one freezer and a fridge. https://cansa.org.za/cansas-care-support/cansa-eikehof-care-home/  

CANSA Irma Bruschi, George, Western Cape 

One 54-inch smart TV, four oil heaters, four ceiling fans, 13kg washing machine and a 10kg tumble-dryer. https://cansa.org.za/cansas-care-support/cansa-irma-bruschi-care-home/  

CANSA Tygerberg Care Home, Rondebosch, Cape Town, Western Cape 

Microwave, crockery and cutlery for 40 patients, freezer, one smart TV and a Tumble dryer. https://cansa.org.za/cansas-care-support/cansa-tygerberg-care-home/  

Requirements across all the homes can be found here:  

1.    Puzzles, games, children’s activity books and colouring-in pencils 
2.    Craft supplies, including wool and knitting needles 
3.    Furniture, including beds and lounge chairs and couches 
4.    Crockery 
5.    Cutlery 
6.    Glasses 
7.    Dish cloths 
8.    Mops, brooms and dusters 
9.    Curtains 
10. Microwaves 
11. Air fryers 
12. Fridges 
13. Freezers 
14. Bathroom mats 
15. Bed linen 
16. Pillows 
17. Duvet inners 
18. Blankets 
19. Curtains 
20. Toiletries for patients, such as bath soap, shower gel, toothpaste and deodorant 
21. Cleaning materials, such as washing powder, dishwash, bleach, toilet cleaner, tile cleaner, hand wash, fabric softener, toilet paper, disposal gloves, and air fresheners 
22. Meat and fish 
23. Condiments 
24. Cooking oil 
25. Dry ingredients, such as rice, sugar, cake flour, pasta, samp and maize meal. 
26. Drinks, such as coffee, tea – ordinary and rooibos, milk (long life) and Oros. 
27. Breakfast cereals 
28. Tinned food 
29. Vegetables: frozen and fresh 
30. Fruit: fresh and dried 
31. Bread spreads, such as butter, margarine, cheese, Bovril, Marmite and peanut butter 
32. Soup, tinned and frozen 

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