The University of KwaZulu-Natal partnered with the CANSA Relay for Life Reservoir in the Annual Fund Raising Dinner and Dance held at the MH Joosub Hall, Westville campus.

The function was a resounding success with over 400 guests in attendance and a total of R60 000 raised.

Keynote speaker, Dr Kamendran Govender, Albert Luthuli Hospital Gynae-oncology Unit Head, presented a talk on cervical cancer. He emphasised the importance of early detection through regular check-ups to ensure quick treatment to prevent the disease from spreading to other organs, adding that it can be beaten if detected early.

Mr Rama Reddy, Chairman of the CANSA RFL Reservoir Hills Committee, said with the cancer pandemic reaching alarming numbers, now more than ever is a need to raise awareness. Recent statistics show that 14 million people across the world are affected by this dreaded disease and this is what drives the committee’s desire to raise awareness and fundraise.

Reddy expressed his heartfelt gratitude to philanthropic sponsors and members of the community, saying this ongoing support enables the committee to generate much needed funds to assist the “heroes” (cancer survivors) as well as research. He also expressed his indebtedness to UKZN for partnering with CANSA RFL Reservoir Hills.

Ms Shakila Thakurpersad from UKZN’s Corporate Relations Division said, ‘UKZN is honoured to partner with the CANSA RFL Reservoir Hills for the last three years. It is important that the University supports its community initiatives especially with projects of this nature. Every one of us are affected by this dreaded illness; if not ourselves then someone we know and love.’

The CANSA Relay for Life is scheduled to take place on 20 and 21 October at the Siripat Road Grounds. Reddy said the event will be fun-filled whilst serving the need for raising funds. He requested patrons to diarise the date, hoping to see the community in large numbers.

The Reservoir Hills Cancer Relay Committee, in conjunction with CANSA’s Care Centre Staff in Durban, have earmarked a number of projects geared towards assisting the community for early screening, testing, counselling and fundraising for research into this dreaded disease.

Words: Rama Reddy and Shakila Thakurpersad

Photograph: Trevor Nagan