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Here's how you can help breast cancer survivors get this lives back

26 September 2016

Because the scary thing is that it's not over, even when it's over.

What do you do when you’ve survived a life-or-death situation, have ended up minus one or even two breasts and have no financial means to afford breast prostheses1 let alone breast reconstruction? Plus you’re experiencing an intense lack of self-esteem, depression and fear of the future?

It would have been hopeless were it not for Reach for Recovery’s Ditto Project, supported annually by the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association (SAMFA), Pick n Pay and Thermopac, through their Power of Pink campaign.

Explains SAMFA’s chairperson, Ross Richardson, “Most people don’t realize how many women are living without breasts after a mastectomy; what’s even worse is that they don’t even know it’s an issue. That’s why we are proud to announce that we are running the Power of Pink campaign again in October with the sole purpose of raising funds for the Reach for Recovery Ditto project to purchase silicone prostheses for breast cancer survivors without financial means. So look out for our trademark (and very pretty!) pink mushroom punnets on shelf in Pick n Pay for the entire month of October. R1 from each punnet of whole and sliced white button mushrooms purchased, goes to Reach for Recovery.”

WHY MUSHROOMS AND BREAST CANCER?
Increasingly research around the cancer fighting potential of mushrooms is indicating that mushrooms could be one of our most powerful allies in the fight against breast cancer.

One of the key findings of studies conducted at the Beckman Institute at the City of Hope Cancer Centre in California and at the University of Australia in Sydney in collaboration with Zhejiang University in China, is that women who eat an average of 10gm of mushrooms a day, seem to halve their risk of breast cancer – a brilliant reason for women to make sure that fresh mushrooms take centre stage on their plates every day of the year.

WHY YOU SHOULD SUPPORT THE POWER OF PINK CAMPAIGN
“Thousands of rands are dedicated annually to breast cancer research,” says Ross, “and we applaud that; but that money does not assist survivors in the way this campaign does. The Power of Pink in conjunction with Reach for Recovery’s Ditto project offers the final empowering step in cancer treatment for thousands of South African women!”

“I am always humbled by the impact a silicone prosthesis has on its recipient,” concludes Reach for Recovery’s Management Board Chairperson, Stephné Jacobs. “The overall effect is a sense of recovery with self-esteem, dignity and confidence restored. It is a gift of hope that helps every survivor to move on from a negative experience and start enjoying life to the full again."


WHO QUALIFIES TO RECEIVE
Silicone breast prostheses from Reach for Recovery cost between R950 and R2000 and substantially more in the open market. However, those in need who are state hospital patients, have had a mastectomy and have a hospital registration card, qualify for a mere R80 donation to cover administrative costs. This having been said, Reach for Recovery does not turn away anyone due to lack of financial resources.

So, head to your nearest Pick n Pay today, go big on the pink punnets and spread the word knowing that you’ll not only be helping those affected by this devastating disease but you’ll also be protecting yourself by adding good for you mushrooms to your daily diet.

For more information visit: www.mushroominfo.co.za or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


REFERENCES

  • A breast prosthesis (breast form) is an artificial breast that can be worn to simulate the natural breast and body shape. They are available in different shapes and sizes, as well as different degrees of firmness and fit into the pocket of a specially designed mastectomy bra. Qualified fitters provide breast prostheses. Consult Reach for Recovery for contact details of providers of prostheses and post-mastectomy bras.
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