WHAT an awesome day it was at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on Saturday, February 10, for the MomentumODI #PinkDay day/night match between South Africa and India. The entertainment was thrilling to say the least, what with all the boundaries struck and the ups and downs of the two teams! And what a sight the massive Wanderers Stadium was – and all in pink!
The atmosphere was electric, with everyone getting behind whichever team they were supporting whilst cheering the players on, and raising awareness and money for breast cancer by wearing pink. People in the crowd went all-out this year with their outfits! Everyone looked amazing! A group of guys even brought along some inflatable flamingos! The day was a huge success, raising in excess of R1.68-million for breast cancer – a new record by far for PinkDay! The money will go towards the Breast Care Unit at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Hospital.
This unit is run by Doctor Sarah Nietz and her team of dedicated specialist nurses, and provides access to quality breast care regardless of geographical location and socioeconomic status. The unit sees up to 350 women with newly diagnosed breast cancer every year and provides a service to seven district hospitals. Patients from other provinces and all over Africa are also accommodated. Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital also trains medical students, interns, medical officers, registrars and junior consultants in breast care, making it a centre of excellence in this field.
There is also a ‘Breast Course 4 Nurses’ programme to empower nurses in breast care. On an annual basis this hospital treats more than 200 000 patients. The breast care clinic newly diagnoses 350 breast care cases annually from Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and even further afield. The sad reality is that due to a lack of education, patients often arrive at the hospital at a time when the fairly treatable disease, if detected early, has progressed beyond the point of treatment. The aim is to invest in a tangible facility and contribute to the service they give as well as the research and education they do to enable more successful treatment of breast cancer through earlier diagnosis.
Miss South Africa, Adè van Heerden, was there to chat to us about her involvement with the #PinkDay campaign. Here’s what she had to say.
Q. Tell us more about your role in this Pink Day and how you aim to push the cause in the future?
A. So, as Miss South Africa as well as a medical doctor, this cause is very close to my heart. And being the official ambassador of the Pink Day is really a great opportunity for me to teach young women that self-examination is so important and it’s something you need to start. It’s a habit that you need to get into monthly from a very young age because it’s such an easy screening tool. It’s completely free. So going forward, obviously my focus is all about continuing to educate because at the end of the day you can only take control of your body if you have the knowledge of how to do it.
Q. Have you or any of your family members or friends been affected by breast cancer?
A. Yes – friends. A little while ago one of my friends was diagnosed with breast cancer. That’s why it’s so important for young women to examine their breasts and to get comfortable with how to do it.
Fashion Designer David Tlale proudly collaborated with the PinkDay campaign by designing the official Relate bracelet that was available for sale to the public on the day. He was also on hand to chat to us.
Q. What inspired you to get involved in Pink Day?
A. What inspired me to be the fashion ambassador for the Pink Day is that I have family members that have gone through treatment for breast cancer and when it happened it was not a good sight to see. Also, very close family members were diagnosed with it but thank goodness it was at the early stages and was treated. And now, having to bring awareness to the people and amplify the message to people to say it doesn’t matter where you are, in the creative sector or in the sciences or wherever, you are directly or indirectly affected by cancer, whether it’s you or your loved ones, your mother, your girlfriend, your wife, your kids, your grandmother and everybody around you. So amplifying the message is very important.
Q. What inspired you to design the official Relate bracelet?
A. The inspiration behind the bracelet is purely craftsmanship; when you look at it it’s very knotted. As Africans we are known for crafting things, our creativity with our hands. So it’s multiple knots using two colours, black – which is what I stand for in terms of clothing – and pink supporting breast cancer awareness. And mostly to say let’s design something fabulous that any man, woman, child, boy, or girl can be able to wear.
It wasn’t only the crowd having a good time – the players did too, with records being broken on the field! The Proteas kept their unbeaten record in PinkDay ODIs intact by beating India by five wickets, and in style! AB de Villiers, David Miller, Heinrich Klaasen and Andile Phehlukwayo really entertained the crowd with their boundary-hitting heroics when it mattered most! What an innings by Phehlukwayo! He smacked three sixes, one four and one single to reach 23 runs off just five balls! Wow!
Have a look at some of our pictures from the day here.