Cancer, with its diagnosis, treatment, and recovery journey, is undoubtedly a challenging battle. For breast cancer survivors, it often involves not only physical but also emotional wounds, including the loss of a breast. This deeply personal struggle can reshape a woman’s perception of her femininity, self-worth, and sense of belonging.
A Beacon of Hope: Reach for Recovery and SAMFA
In the face of these challenges, two remarkable organizations, Reach for Recovery (R4R) and the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association (SAMFA), step forward to provide hope, joy, and dignity to breast cancer survivors. Breast reconstruction and external breast prostheses, crucial for the emotional healing process, can be prohibitively expensive. Many women who have bravely overcome breast cancer find themselves unable to afford these essentials.
The Dedication of Reach for Recovery Volunteers
Enter the joyous brigade of volunteers from Reach for Recovery, all of whom are breast cancer survivors themselves. These dedicated individuals extend a compassionate hand, visiting women in the process of recovering from mastectomies at state hospitals. They offer not only invaluable information but also care packages. Most importantly, through their Ditto Project, they provide a path to feeling whole once more with personally fitted and color-matched breast prosthetics. These external silicone breast forms are of exceptional quality and are offered to recipients at no cost.
The Power of Pink Campaign: A Path to Dignity
Every year, SAMFA spearheads the “Power of Pink” campaign, funding this essential work that restores dignity. Throughout October, fresh mushrooms are sold in pink punnets at Pick n Pay stores, with R1 from each purchase going towards R4R to provide breast prostheses to those who cannot afford them.
Embracing Dignity and Confidence
Breast cancer survivor Sthembile Myeni shares her experience: “I am very happy with my silicone prosthesis; I feel like a woman again.” Gail Coombs adds, “It gave me confidence and feels like a real breast.” These external breast prostheses are soft, lightweight, natural-looking, and comfortable to wear.
Trudie Pienaar, another beneficiary of the Power of Pink-funded Ditto Project, expresses the body positivity that comes from wearing the correct breast form: “It is such a blessing not to be self-conscious of my appearance anymore and to wear t-shirts and blouses with confidence again.”
Uplifting Lives and Prioritizing Health
Reach for Recovery’s National Management Board Chairperson, Stephné Jacobs, emphasizes that “these women are now living well, prioritizing their health, and loving life.” She believes that “experience is not what happens to us, but what we do with what happens to us.”
SAMFA’s Contribution to Upliftment
SAMFA’s Chairperson, Ross Richardson, acknowledges the privilege of being part of this uplifting journey: “People say to surround yourself with those who are going to lift you higher. With Pick n Pay and Reach for Recovery, we are proud to be doing just that.”
How You Can Make a Difference
Pink punnets of fresh mushrooms will be available on the shelves at Pick n Pay stores nationwide throughout October. Join Team Ditto in making a life-changing purchase that uplifts the lives of underprivileged women who have triumphed over breast cancer.
Issued on behalf of SAMFA and Reach for Recovery