Sunday, February 25, 2024

Cancer survivor gives hope

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Taffy says that she struggled to live while Natalie fought desperately to live. Times photo Farida Master.

It’s hard to tell that Taffy Muyambo, a vibrant bundle of energy, suffered from depression and tried to end her life twice

Now she shares her story and reveals the reason why she wants to host a Pink Ribbon Party for her friend Natalie Smith (Nat).

Taffy says she was struggling to come to terms with living till she met women suffering from breast cancer desperately fighting to live for their children and young families.

“Coming from Zimbabwe, I hadn’t heard of breast cancer cases until fairly recently. I was shocked and blown away by the number of cases that affect women in New Zealand,” says the 36-year-old Botany resident.

“Their stories took the focus off my pain. It struck me that here I am trying to give up my life, when there are women who would do anything to live.”

Taffy says that she met Nat, a mother-of-three, at a local school where both their daughters study and they immediately connected.

“Life is hard and I was going through some bad stuff when Nat casually mentioned that she is a cancer survivor. I asked her to take me through her journey and asked her how she coped. Her inspirational story gave me hope,” she admits.

“Nat’s strength pushed me to do something positive and more meaningful.

“I decided to focus my energies on the suffering of others as a way to appreciate my life and as a way of understanding that there is always someone worse off than me.

“For me, this is the moment everything changed. This year, one of my resolutions was to get up and do some good.”

Talking about her disbelief and being in a haze when she was first diagnosed with Spindle cell carcinoma, cancer survivor Nat says that she is very grateful to get a new lease of life.

“The hardest thing was that I had an 18-month-old baby. And while I used to get really tired and sick at times, the beauty of it was that he didn’t realise what I was going through.

“I was worried that if I didn’t make it, he wouldn’t remember my voice or have any memories of me apart from photograph and video,” says Nat.

It was with her husband’s support and three of her friends “who were like a rock” that she not only recovered but also had two children after her fight with cancer.

The Pink Ribbon Party will have Nat share her story. A breast care nurse at Manukau SuperClinc will also talk about self examination, signs and symptoms and treatment.

All proceeds from the fundraiser will go directly towards breast cancer research and treatment.

  • Pink Ribbon Party at Ormiston Cafe on Saturday June 2, 3pm onwards.

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