Fundraising brings desperately ill Cape man home for cancer treatment
Share this article:
Cape Town - It is a joyous day for the family of Dale Benson, as he arrives back in the country today after being stuck in Vietnam given one month to live without chemotherapy.
The 38-year-old from Somerset West had been teaching English for three years when he was suddenly diagnosed with stage four cancer, after experiencing recurring stomach pains, backache and fatigue.
By the time they discovered the cancer it had spread to several organs and doctors were unable to remove it.
Benson’s family and friends then sprung into action to raise money to get him home. He had no medical insurance as he had not been able to work for months as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A Backabuddy campaign set up by family friend Karen Baschiera managed to raise R 194 473.08 of its R300 000 target.
Before he boarded the plane on Tuesday an elated Benson posted on social media: “To all my earth angels out there who have supported me through this time. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Without all of you none of this would be possible. I am flying home today to get the treatment I need. Vietnam I am going to miss you so much, but with hope I will return one day. I love each and every one of you and not only has this restored my faith in humanity but has also made me realise how loved I am. To the next chapter of my life I go.”
His mother, Inge Bosman, who had many sleepless nights worrying about whether he was going to make it - as they struggled to work around the complicated logistics of getting him home - told the Cape Times yesterday she was “ecstatic”.
“I am very overwhelmed, I never thought we’d be here, his prognosis was so bad, every night I hung in the lounge wondering if he was going to make it. I am extremely grateful for everybody’s love and support. My other son also arrived from France to be with us; he gave up his job of five years, so I have so much support. As soon as he lands we will get him straight to a doctor and we’ll see where we can go from there as far as treatment goes,” she said.
Initially having Dale airlifted with a medical plane was an option, but the cost was astronomical, about R 3 000 000 plus. Bosman said her daughter-in-law who had been a travel agent for years then took the reins to organise the trip.
“The Singapore Airlines accommodated him and allowed him to travel to commercial business class. They have a doctor onboard so they’ll monitor him very closely.”