When I think about Kirsty, a young Durban woman, there’s no doubt in my mind that research pays off in saving precious lives.
If research hadn’t identified effective treatments for Lymphoma, I dread to think what Kirsty’s prognosis would have been.
In early 2014, Kirsty, who was 24 years old then, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Lymphoma. This is cancer of the lymphocytes – cells which destroy infection in the body.
Her cancer was discovered when she saw her doctor, because she had a persistent choking feeling in her throat.
The malignant growth was crushing her windpipe and oesophagus, and cancer cells had already spread into her chest.
Her treatment was long and arduous – six months of chemo, then six weeks radiotherapy. But that wasn’t enough to knock the cancer on its head, so she went through it all again.
Still not in remission, the only solution was a bone marrow transplant. The harvesting of her bone marrow was done and strong chemo given to kill off any remaining cancer cells.
Two months complete rest helped her recover from this gruelling ordeal. But love was on her mind, and marriage her goal.
She says, “My wedding was the most beautiful, romantic and emotional experience. I was so happy to be alive and getting well again.”
“But I still had one more hurdle to face – the return of my stem cells. The procedure wasn’t so bad. But the four weeks of isolation that followed were a test of endurance! Oh how I longed just to be home with the love of my life!”
More than three years have passed and thankfully Kirsty’s in remission.
Right now CANSA is supporting 31 university-based research projects; we’re funding research into epidemiology, early diagnosis, and risk reduction as well as providing funding for post-graduate bursaries.
And that’s why we’re really hoping you’ll make your online donation today. Every gift – large or small – will help us in our fight against cancer.
This year we’ll continue to invest in research – and your donation will be a vital contribution to this venture.
We really hope you’ll make your online donation right now.