Crystal brings smiles to cancer patients at hospice on her birthday
An unexpected but very welcomed surprise. This was how cancer patient Mario Schreuder, 65, from Strand, described receiving his care bag at the Cansa Tygerberg Care Home from Crystal August.
He was one of 20 recipients of the Restoring Hope with Chemo Care bags campaign yesterday for patients at the hospice who are receiving radiation treatment at Tygerberg Hospital.
Inside the bags are creams, blankets, luxuries and toiletries to help patients undergoing chemotherapy and who are forced to spend between six to 12 weeks away from their families.
On his return from radiation therapy, Schreuder said he had undergone six weeks of treatment already and hopes this week will be his last.
“I have prostate cancer, which is aggressive but growing slowly and the doctor says I am responding well to treatment,” said Schreuder.
He said that August had given patients a smile while they were experiencing some of the worst days of their lives.
August delivered the care bags on her own birthday. She has lost three close family members to cancer.
“My mother called me this morning, to remind me of how doctors had told her to choose me or life. With her gift of life to me, I have found my purpose in giving back,” August said.
Over the past five years, her Birth of Hope initiative has aimed to help different beneficiaries. Surprised as the care home staff provided her with a birthday cake, an overwhelmed August said this was the first of many days she would be spending at the home.
Home co-ordinator Mandy Engelbrecht said patients and staff welcomed the gift bags, especially those patients who ended up staying longer than they expected.
She said most patients at the home appreciated volunteers because they really appreciated someone to talk to through the hardest days.
This Saturday Cansa will host a volunteer open day at its offices at 37 A Main Road Mowbray. Those interested can call 0800 22 66 22.
Next month August will undertake another 5km road event in honour of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer or those who have succumbed to the disease.
To donate to August’s cause, she can be contacted via e-mail: [email protected]