By Confidente Reporter
FOR patients with cancer and their healthcare team, the “ringing of the bell” is a significant moment– a point in time that signals the end of active treatment and the beginning of a life free of cancer.
Much stigma surrounds cancer, the treatment thereof, the difficulties faced during and after a cancer diagnosis and treatment. And, although there is much hardship and pain during cancer treatment; it is when a patient has survived and a new beginning in their lives beckon, that we now “ring the bell” to signal loud and clear: “I am a victor, I am a survivor, I am a beacon signalling that there is hope!”
Rolf Hansen, CAN CEO, shared the story of a UK-based Steve Tomlinson who was devastated when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. Although the family was scared and uncertain about the future, perhaps losing their loved one, they heard the bell ring several times since they arrived for treatment, and, each time when the patient was congratulated with a round of applause by other patients and their families, their own spirits and determination was lifted to not give up the fight.
“What a lovely and uplifting way to mark the achievements of our patients. Some patients may have to return for further treatments at some point in the future, but being able to celebrate these small victories is important and empowering. It is therefore important that in Namibia, we ring the bell for hope too!” said Hansen.
The inspiration that the “Ring the Bell” campaign offers cannot be quantified, as it inspires a peer-to-peer challenge and support between patients to carry on, be there for one another and see the treatment through. The Cancer Association of Namibia shares many great international relationships, and this collaboration of hope that exist between CAN and the Campaigning 4 Cancer organisation in South Africa is testimony of this. Roche Pharmaceuticals has partnered with the Cancer Association of Namibia and Campaigning 4 Cancer for the “Ring the Bell” campaign and we truly applaud this great partnership.
“The Ring a Bell launch today is the first of its kind in Namibia and we envisage to roll it out to other treatment centres nationwide too” – confirmed Hansen
Patients generally stay with CAN at House Acacia Interim Home during treatment, and patient support is extended through the “Circle of Hope” and “Patient Financial Assistance Programme”.
The bells were last week unveiled at the Dr AB May Cancer Care Centre, Windhoek Central Hospital; Namibian Oncology Centre and Paramount Health Care Centre Oncology Department.
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