A group of breast cancer survivors calling themselves Pink Warriors, took advantage of National Tourism Month and National SAn Parks SANParks Week by visiting touring the Addo Elephant National Park on Friday.
Sponsored by Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism (NMBT), the group of about six women boarded a taxi in front of Cansa Port Elizabeth and made their way to the reserve. park.
The Herald columnist and businesswoman Kazeka Kuse, who was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and underwent a mastectomy only two weeks ago, was among one of the women on the trip.
Kuse, who lost her mother to cancer, has been very open, sharing her diagnosis and journey on social media.
She said the trip was about the women sharing their stories, raising awareness and talking about treatment options.
Fidelia Groener, 60, who had a double mastectomy, said it was by the grace of God she was alive and thanked her family for their “tremendous support”.
“I had a normal mammogram when and doctors discovered the lump and in 2013. and the year after A year later, I had my double mastectomy and had reconstructive surgery immediately thereafter,” Groener said.
A journey of survival and beating the odds, Groener said during her treatment she suffered from nausea and vomiting from the chemotherapy, and the time it took for the wounds to heal but added, “I’m here today because cancer can be beaten”.
Shamelle Sauls, 49, a breast cancer survivor, said she also felt a lump and went to a specialist who confirmed her suspicions.
Sauks said she did not hesitate when she was advised to get a mastectomy back in 2002.
“I had the mastectomy a day after I was diagnosed and 14 years later, I’m cancer free.
“I went to specialist and asked the specialist him what my quality of life would be if I only kept the lump and had a lumpectomy and would it be to my benefit and he said the best quality of life for me would be for me to remove it,” Sauls said.
Kuse gave credit to Livingstone Hospital’s oncology treatment centre for catching the cancer as she had numerous tests which came out inconclusive before.
“I went to Livingstone hospital and the tests came out positive and I must say, they’re among the best the city has to offer,” Kuse said.
Kuse added that at 31 years old, she never expected to have cancer and advised women to get checked out as early as possible.
The Pink WarriorsLadies enjoyed a two-hour game drive inside the park where they spotted, buffalo, red hartebees, antelope, zebra and the cream of the crop – elephants who were bathing under the hot Addo sun.
Unfortunately, Sylvester the lion was nowhere to be seen.
NMBT marketing manager Titus Chuene said it was important for locals to have access to tourism and he hoped the tour had allowed the Pink Warriors “a moment of rest”.