Westridge family take part in 9th cancer relay

Members of the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) Relay for Life in Mitchells Plain, meet at Westridge High School every Saturday.

A Westridge couple said they survived cancer with positivity and trusting the Almighty.

Mogamat Wajadie Agherdien, 65, from Westridge, was diagnosed with colon cancer about a decade ago and was in remission months later.

His wife Amina, 66, recalled saying to her husband moments after receiving the news: “You have to remain positive and by the grace of Allah we will get through this”.

They spoke to the Plainsman after an organising committee meeting of the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) Relay for Life in Mitchell’s Plain at Westridge High School on Saturday February 1.

Yesterday, February 4, marked World Cancer Day, an international day focused on raising awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment.

Mr Agherdien’s father died of colon cancer in 1973 and he is one of three children, who has survived cancer.

He was diagnosed in July 2010 and the affected part of his colon was removed in November that same year.

Ms Agherdien said the doctors told her that the operation would be three hours but instead it was nine and a half hours.

“It was nerve-racking but we persevered,” she said.

Mr Agherdien said after diagnosis he attended sessions at a room at Groote Schuur Hospital, where patients were counselled and encouraged to stay the course.

“They motivated you. They gave me the courage to endure this cancer journey,” he said.

It took him seven months to recuperate and during the first three months he could not eat solid food.

He had a diet of soup and meal replacements.

Today he cannot eat spicy and acidic foods.

Mr Agherdien has been cancer-free since early January 2011 and said it was important for him to give back to the community.

Next month the Agherdien family will complete their ninth Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) Relay for Life in Mitchell’s Plain.

The annual event takes place at Westridge High School from 6pm on Friday March 6 until 6am Saturday March 7.

Teams of 10 to 15 people will spend up to 12 hours walking or running around a track, in celebration of cancer survivorship and its presence in communities.

For more information about the relay, call chairperson Saadiqa Abrahams on 061 494 1413 or email saadiqaabrahams04@gmail.com