Powerful Pink October

Hope, Joy and Dignity… Take part to make it possible

Cancer is hard. The diagnosis, the treatment, the recovery. And with breast cancer, the loss of a breast too. It’s a very personal wound that often changes a woman’s perception of her femininity, self-worth and sense of belonging.

That’s where Reach for Recovery (R4R) and the South African Mushroom Farmers’ Association (SAMFA) step in. All forms of breast reconstruction and external breast prostheses are very expensive, and many women who have survived the trauma of breast cancer simply cannot afford them.

Reach for Recovery’s joyous brigade of volunteers, all of them survivors of breast cancer themselves, extend a helping hand, visiting women recovering from mastectomies at state hospitals, passing out information, care packages and, through their Ditto Project, a future avenue to feeling more whole again with a personally fitted and colour-matched breast prosthetic. These are costly, extremely well-made external silicone breast forms that are provided to recipients without any charge.

Every year, SAMFA funds this important, dignity bolstering work through their Power of Pink campaign. Throughout October, fresh mushrooms are sold in pink punnets at Pick n Pay stores, and R1 from each goes to R4R to provide breast prostheses to cancer survivors who can’t afford them.

Power of Pink punnets for breast cancer awareness

As Roman emperor and stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius Antoninus observed, “there is a proper dignity and proportion to be observed in the performance of every act of life.” And all involved in the Power of Pink campaign and Ditto Project agree, including recipients.

“I am very happy with my silicone prosthesis,” says breast cancer survivor, Sthembile Myeni. “I feel like a woman again.” While another, Gail Coombs, insists, “it gave me confidence and feels like a real breast.” The external breast prostheses provided are soft, lightweight, beautiful, natural-looking and easy to wear.

Another beneficiary of the Power of Pink funded Ditto Project, Trudie Pienaar, explains the body positivity that comes from wearing the correct breast form.

“I was privileged to receive a new perfect-fit breast prosthesis a few months ago. As I picked up weight in the past years, the first prosthesis that I used after my mastectomy 13 years ago no longer fit well. My own breast was not the same size as the prosthesis side anymore. It looked unbalanced, asymmetrical and skew. I started to hide behind scarves and loose-fitting clothes. It is such a blessing not to be self-conscious of my appearance anymore and to wear t-shirts and blouses with confidence again!”

Stephné Jacobs

“These women are now living well, prioritising their health and loving life,” says Reach for Recovery’s National Management Board Chairperson, Stephné Jacobs, who along with other R4R volunteers believes “experience is not what happens to us, but what we do with what happens to us.”

“At SAMFA, we feel privileged to be part of this stream of upliftment,” says SAMFA’s Chairperson, Ross Richardson. “People say to surround yourself with those who are going to lift you higher. With Pick n Pay and Reach for Recovery, we are proud to be doing just that.”

Pink punnets of fresh mushrooms will be on shelves at Pick n Pay stores nationwide throughout October. Please join Team Ditto in uplifting the lives of underprivileged women who have survived breast cancer with this simple yet life-changing purchase.

Gina McLaughlin on gina@rgcom.co.za or 082 413 7538

Issued on behalf of SAMFA and Reach for Recovery