Laughter and the mouth-watering aroma of potjiekos filled the Bothasig Community Hall at the first fund-raiser for The Colour of Care Foundation, which helps cancer patients pay for their treatment.
Kélin Engel, of Parow, established the registered non-profit organisation last month to honour the legacy of her father and grandmother, David and Joan Engel. Joan died from uterine cancer in November 2019 and David from Covid-19 complications a month after being diagnosed with lung and brain cancer in May 2020.
The foundation raises public donations for cancer patients so that they can focus on their recovery and not on the high cost of medical care.
“My family wanted to find a way to help people because that’s something my father and grandmother were known for,” said Ms Engel. “My father always said, ’What’s the point of having something if you can’t share it?’ There’s been a lot of grief and negativity since the start of Covid-19, and I wanted to find a way to channel those emotions into something positive.”
The foundation raised just over R20 000 from donations and potjiekos at its fund-raiser last month. The money, Ms Engel said, would help a 27-year-old woman with an aggressive form of breast cancer.
Volunteer Jade Buckton said: “Having lost some of our closest family members, we hold onto the memories of our loved ones, and so the foundation is close to our hearts because, fundamentally, it is trying to make those memories last as long as possible for the families they are trying to support.”
Ms Engel said witnessing her father’s fight with lung and brain cancer had brought home to her the many difficulties cancer patients and their families faced.
“I was lucky to be working from home at the time he was receiving treatment. When I think about the people who have to support their family members and go to work every day… they need to be concerned with how they’re going to take care of this person, work, and pay for medical bills; it’s stressful. Being able to work from home during the lockdown period alleviated some of that stress for me.”
The foundation’s aim is to not only help cancer patients financially but to create awareness of early cancer detection, where to go to for screenings and treatment options.
Call 076 336 2655 or email email@example.com to find out more about The Colour of Care Foundation.