Project Flamingo celebrates a decade of helping women battle breast cancer

By Kelly-Jane Turner Time of article published Mar 11, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - For over a decade Project Flamingo has been offering free surgery for women battling breast cancer in the public health sector. 

The organisation was founded by breast and endocrine surgeon Dr Liana Roodt and together with her team of volunteers they perform “catch-up” surgeries to help alleviate some of the waiting periods for the women in need. 

“Project Flamingo's journey started ten years ago! I realised that our public healthcare patients were waiting a very long time to get the necessary cancer treatment, particularly their cancer surgeries,” said Dr Roodt.

Dr Roodt says that patients could wait for up to 12-13 weeks to receive the necessary surgery to begin their cancer treatment process.

“Particularly in breast cancer, surgery is often the first step in the treatment process. If we look at what's happening in our public healthcare sector unfortunately the reality is that the wait from diagnosis to first intervention is much longer and this is really where Project Flamingo is doing our work and where we're really trying to make a difference,” she said. 

Volunteer surgeons and anaesthetists perform these cancer operations on a Saturday or a public holiday.

The funds that Project Flamingo raises goes towards paying for theatre time, nursing staff and ‘Pamper Packs’ with essential items for the diagnosed women. 

“I think the reason why my team shows up on a Saturday for a theatre case when they've already had a harsh week behind them is because of the patients. They see the difference that it makes when the patients go from hopeless and devastated to healthy and whole,” said Dr Roodt.

Source: Project Flamingo Facebook Page

* This article is part of the Sapa+ #Inspire campaign.

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