It won’t get her down – a diagnosis of an incurable cancer. She has her family, her friends, her two horses, a spot on a winning SA netball team, and she has a beautiful heart.
The 12-year old Danielle Theart, learner at Laerskool Randhart, last week donated R25 000 to Stepping Stone Hospice, funds raised for her by the school’s Supporters Club. During a heart-warming assembly at the school on Monday 19 August, three cheques, each worth R25 000, were handed over to three learners of this school who were diagnosed with various forms of cancer.
Stepping Stone Hospice’s Annual Memorial Day will take place on Sunday, 15 September, from 12 noon at the hospice’s In-Patient Unit in New Market Park. This annual event sees families and friends gather together to remember their loved ones and reconnect with the people who cared for them in their last days.
"This will be our sixth Memorial Day since opening our doors in 2013,” says Stepping Stone Hospice CEO, Tersia Burger. “To date, we have had over 1600 patients pass away under our care; people who we remember with love and fondness. On a personal level, I also honour the life of my daughter Vicky Bruce on this day. She was our very first patient, our very first death, and the reason that Stepping Stone Hospice exists at all."
Families and friends are encouraged to bring along a small photo, letter and/or token in memory of their loved one, to put inside a memory capsule that we will be placed in the hospice’s Garden of Remembrance on the day.
“’You are not alone’ has been our promise to the community from the very beginning, and that will never change,” says Tersia.
After months of hard work and careful planning, Stepping Stone Hospice is finally ready to launch their Club 2000 fundraising programme, an initiative where you, in donating to hospice, now stand a chance to win some wonderful cash prizes on a monthly basis, ranging from R20 000 as a first prize to R500 as a last prize.
Adding a “touch of sugar” surely can do no harm. To find out where this is going, join stand-up comedian and sex-therapist, Timothy Kieswetter, when he shares why a little bit of “sugar” can certainly coat up the “bitterest” of bitter! Timothy is the guest speaker/entertainer at the Stepping Stone Hospice’s annual Come Whine With Me event, to be hosted this year on Saturday 7 September 2019.
This event is known as a great get-together for the ladies in town, where wine-tasting, finger lunch and loads of laughter and fun is scheduled for the day. The fun will kick off at 11:00 for 11:30 and is taking place at Sha-Mani Lodge, 30 Doncaster Str, New Market Park, Alberton. All of this for R350 per person (no persons under 18).
Tickets sell at R350 per person.
Employees at LH Marthinusen annually select a project for Mandela Day and this year Stepping Stone Hospice was chosen as one of the recipients of some assistance. A team representing the employees arrived at the In-Patient Unit in New Market Park with a donation of linen and orthopedic cushions, as well as some delicious eats for the staff.
Caption: Their team f.l.t.r.: Bheki Mandlazi, Cheryl Havenga, Sister Sheryl Newman (hospice), Joyce Majola, Ria Gouws, Tersia Burger (hospice) and Truus Odendaal (hospice).
The Stepping Stone Hospice gardens serve as a great solace to patients and family members alike, and to help with the upkeep of the gardens, is Hibiscus Gardens, who has been rendering their services free of charge to hospice. Teresa Swart, owner of Hibiscus Gardens is seen here with Marietjie Tame, marketing & fundraising manager at Stepping Stone Hospice. "We have a volunteer, Ben Botha, who together with our staff, oversee the work done in the garden. But to have Hibiscus come in for the general maintenance, is a huge blessing,' Marietjie says. “Their teams are professional, on time and always very helpful. We are forever grateful to Teresa for reaching out to us and helping in this way.”
A charity group, The Cradle Project, in conjunction with VOLPES in Newmarket Mall, recently donated 32 new duvet covers, pillow slips, pillows and sheets to Stepping Stone Hospice. Karin Serfontein, who initiated this donation, says she did this because of the excellent care that was given to the father of a friend of hers whilst he was in the In-Patient Unit. “The care he received, was just amazing and I really felt that I should be doing something to help the hospice.”
We will help you live until you die
A kind and unselfish act of a Stepping Stone Hospice volunteer and her husband led to a hospice patient given to the opportunity to go on a week-long holiday to Amanzintoti on the Kwa-Zulu Natal south coast.
This is a dream come true for Daleen Dyer (36) from Florentia, who was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease in April 2018. This disease, a progressive weakening of all the muscles in the body, keeps Daleen house-bound and bed-ridden. It is a disease of which there is no cure.
The Shuffling Walkers are at it again with the hosting of their 8th Annual Family Fun Walk on Sunday 28 July 2019 in Bedfordview, promising that this year’s event will be as spectacular, if not better, than the previous events.
The walk, with its aim to raise cancer awareness, will not only offer three routes, a 2km, a 5km and and a 7.9 km through the beautiful streets of Bedfordview, but great entertainment is also lined up for the day.
Two Albertonians, 39-year old AW Claassens and his step-dad, 62-year old Willie Duvenhage, attempted the AUDAX 200km cycle ride on Sunday, 23 June, 2019 in an effort to raise funds for Stepping Stone Hospice. We asked AW to relay in his own words what it was like to attempt a 200km ride on windy winters day – after reading his recollection of the race…. all we can say is, THANK YOU and we have so much respect for what you did. You finished and you are our heroes!
Sat 22/06/2019 – day before race
Had to make sure all spares were up to date... Had a last look at the weather forecast, realised that we were going to have a very cold start and that I will need a new pair of gloves. Also decided to add some plastic bags over the toes in my shoes to try and keep them warm. Made sure all bottles were filled with all the necessary drinks and shakes, froze some so that it will be cold when I have to swap them out. Made sure the headlight was charged as I wasn’t sure if we will be back before sunset. Went to bed early (8pm) but the nerves started to kick in. Some of the questions that keep going through my head... Am I fit enough? Do I have enough warm clothes? Am I going to finish? Will the bicycle break? I set the alarm for 4am so that we can be at the Circus Cafe at 6am, an hour before starting time.
A “Christmas in July” Day market is just the thing to chase the winter blues away and pick up some bargains that can certainly serve as great gifts come Christmas time.
Stepping Stone Hospice in conjunction with Amcare, will host their first ever "Christmas in July" Day Market on Saturday July 6 at the Alberton Methodist Church in New Market Park, opening at 08:00 and closing at 17:00.
Some exclusive items will be on sale such as new promotional gift boxes and brand-new, brand-name clothing items. Ranging from selfie-sticks, picnic baskets, leather notebooks, coffee perculator sets, carry bags, toolkits, books and much much more.
In 2014, former President Nelson Mandela's assistant, Zelda la Grange challenged philanthropist Carolyn Steyn to knit 67 blankets for Nelson Mandela Day, and not one to shy away from a challenge Carolyn accepted. She called on her friends for help and developed a Facebook group called "67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day”.
Within a few days, hundreds of people from around the world had pledged to knit a blanket for Nelson Mandela Day. The project has grown into a movement that has exceeded all expectations. Stepping Stone Hospice recently received a visit from two representatives of this initiative and accepted a donation of 128 blankets.
Deirdre Xulu explained that a relative of hers was cared for in the In-Patient Unit and she has therefore put a request in on behalf of Stepping Stone Hospice for a donation. Here to receive the 128 blankets f.l.t.r.: Sister Beth Ndhlovu (Registered Nurse), Lina Madela (67 Blankets), Tersia Burger (CEO Stepping Stone Hospice) and Deirdre Xulu (67 Blankets).
A recent article on Stepping Stone Hospice patient, Daleen Dyer (36) from Florentia, who was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease in April 2018, led to Alberton resident, Elmarie van den Berg arranging for the donation of a special hospital bed to Daleen.
“My ex-husband, Piet Vorster suffered from the same disease and passed away at the age of 66 in January 2018. When I saw the article on Daleen, I immediately reached out to our sons who all agreed that we can donate the bed used for Piet when he became bed-ridden. This bed and mattress made a huge difference in Piet’s life in terms of being comfortable and in the prevention of bed sores,” explains Elmarie.
Motor Neuron Disease is a disease that leads to a progressive weakening of all the muscles in the body, which eventually affects the ability to breathe. There is no cure.
Any child’s dream - to be let loose around a table stacked with cakes ready to be iced and decorated!
Pick ‘n Pay in Lemon Tree Mall, New Market, has launched their Kiddies Cake Carnival, set to take place on Saturday 15 June 2019 from 09:00 till 14:00 at the Pick ‘n Pay court in the Lemon Tree Shopping Centre.
All children between the ages of 5 and 12 are invited to participate in the different age group categories at R30 per entry. Not only do they stand to win some awesome prizes, but also get to take their decorated cake home!
“This is our time to say thank you to the community and give back – in this instance to an organization who has touched so many lives and who needs our support,” says Jason Luscos, Pick ‘n Pay store manager.
“They helped us, I will help them,” says bereaved mother“
A true testament of a mother’s love is currently unfolding in the Stepping Stone Hospice In-Patient Unit, a reality so harsh, yet at the same time, so heartbreakingly beautiful. A mother who refuses to leave her dying daughter’s side, who sleeps in a chair next to her bed, and only leaves her daughters room when she goes outside to smoke, “and to cry, because I will not cry in front of my daughter.” Hazel van Rooyen showers in the unit, she eats in the unit, and she oversees the daily visits of her grandchildren when they come to see their mother.
With Hazel’s permission, we are sharing the story of her 35-year old daughter, Angie van Wyk, who in January this year was diagnosed with Stage 4 pelvic cancer. Herself a young mother, Angie will leave behind her 10-year old daughter, JC Leigh and 7-year old son, Recce. Yes, they know their mother is dying, and this will be the second time in their young lives that they will be facing the loss of a parent. Their father died in a car accident in October 2014.
Stephen Hawking was one of the most well-known people in the world with a Motor Neuron Disease. Joost van der Westhuizen, one of South Africa’s greatest rugby players, succumbed to the disease in 2017. But when it’s your wife, your sister, your daughter who is diagnosed with MND, it’s then that the monster hits you in the stomach. When the devastating effects of the disease are no longer something you read about or that happen to someone else, when it’s something you have to live with every day, that’s when your tears don’t seem to be enough, and when your knees become raw from praying and asking and seeking.
Stepping Stone Hospice patient, Daleen Dyer (36) from Florentia, was diagnosed with Motor Neuron Disease in April 2018, a disease that leads to a progressive weakening of all the muscles in the body, which eventually affects the ability to breathe. There is no cure. Could this have been the worst news this young woman could ever receive?
Yip, it's that time of year when we start planning and looking forward to our Annual Golf Day, scheduled for Thursday 11 April 2019. And of course inviting you to participate and join in on the fun.
Looking back on our Golf Day held last year (18 April that was), we've certainly proved that we can put together a day to be remembered, on and off the golf course. Our 144 players, with the help of our sponsors, managed to raise the incredible amount of R220 000, of which R157 000 was actual profit! Not too shabby for a bunch of guys (and girls) hitting a little white ball around 18 fairways on a beautiful golf course.
So let's do the same this year, and go BIGGER and BETTER!
"THIS baby girl will not die, not today and not with me near, she will live," were the words of Chris Nel, retail supervisor of Stepping Stone Hospice's The Charity Shop.
Stepping Stone Hospice's ethos, "You are Not Alone," have yet again been demonstrated by the quick action of the charity shop's team when a mother gave birth on the pavement in front of the shop along Fore Street in New Redruth.
On January 31, at around 11am, Chris saw a woman in the middle of Fore Street climbing out of a truck and on her knees. The next moment he saw water and blood, and he knew something was wrong.
"I rushed over to the woman to help and when I got to her, her baby just seemed to drop out," he said. Before he rushed to her, he called his colleagues in the store to help.
Cancer: What has changed?
As we celebrate World Cancer Day today (4 February), we take a look at the history of cancer, and what has changed over the years. The grip of this dreaded disease seems to have only intensified, and although a lot has been achieved over the years in terms of research, early diagnosis and treatment, two things have remained: There is no recorded cure for cancer and palliative (hospice) care is still very much a part of the cancer journey.
Nothing could possibly explain hospice care better than the testimony of one of Stepping Stone Hospice’s patients, Mrs Margaret Smith (62), who after a few week’s stay in the In-Patient Unit, was recently discharged and sent home to spend some quality time with her family and her beloved Chichiwawa doggie, Pippa.
Mrs Smith, diagnosed with spinal cancer and lung cancer in September last year, was admitted to Stepping Stone Hospice in New Market Park in November 2018 after a stay in the Donald Gordon Oncology Unit in Parktown in Johannesburg.
“I just reached a point where I no longer wanted treatment in the form of radiations and chemo and tests upon tests,” says Mrs Smith. She’s been battling cancer since 2017 when she was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Originally from Richards Bay, her and her husband of 43 years, Basil, moved to her daughter in Mondeor in the south of Johannesburg when she was diagnosed in September with spinal cancer.