Lesley Mac Donald


Lesley was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia on 23 December 2023. The day that changed our lives and one we will never forget.

Lesley was born on 21 February 2020, a month before the COVID-19 pandemic. I had a normal pregnancy with Lesley, low risk with no complications. I carried him to term and gave birth via caesarean section due to him being 4.2 kg.

We took him to the paediatrician for his routine check-ups. He was growing well and had no problems. His tonsils and adenoids were removed, and he had grommets inserted on 3 February 2022. That is the only operation he had.

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Pat Fourie

(Ovarian Cancer)

How does one ever know how you will respond to the words “You have cancer”? Only when it happens, and you really can’t believe such devastating news!

I have led a healthy, active life and have three adult daughters, three grandchildren and a supportive husband whom I all love dearly.

I was on a hike with my husband and the hiking club members at Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens on 18 May 2022. On a very steep gradient, I found that I had no strength in my legs, and I just did not feel well. Over the weekend I noticed my abdomen began to swell, and I contacted my doctor for whom I had previously worked. I consulted with him on Monday and was sent for a CT scan which revealed ovarian cancer. My husband and I were both in total shock. My children were equally distressed.

I was then referred to a gynaecological oncologist whom I saw four days later. By then my abdomen was distended and the size of a nine-month pregnant woman! The discomfort was unbearable. This is called ascites and is the body’s response to cancer of an organ in the abdomen, usually the liver. Four litres of fluid were drained in the X-ray department using a catheter and the relief was instant. The fluid also confirmed that I had ovarian cancer. I had a further three litres drained a week later.

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Rirandzu Madhlophe

(Breast Cancer)

My name is Rirandzu Viola Phazima Madhlophe. I took the Platinum policy in 2015 and was managing well with the increasing premiums until COVID-19 impacted us. I contemplated cancelling the policy, but when I spoke to the consultant she convinced me to reduce the premium rather than cancel.

Little did I know that in October 2021 I would be diagnosed with breast cancer, and now I am grateful that I did not cancel the policy. The cancer was diagnosed during a routine mammogram and it came as a shock to me as I hadn’t even felt anything on my breast. No one in my family has had breast cancer, so it was a challenging time for me and my daughters as well as my entire family. In November 2021 I had a lumpectomy to remove the cancer, it was stage 1 as the lymph nodes tested negative.

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Wilma Blom

(Cervical Cancer)

Cancer is never an easy topic to talk about in our family. 

With cancer being a dominant factor in my family, I was adamant that I wanted to have a policy in place for the off chance I would be one of the people to get it. I was very happy when I was able to take out a Platinum Life policy.

My grandfather passed away from melanoma many years ago. My mom had cancer, but it was caught in time and removed with a hysterectomy after my sister was born. Jump a few years forward and suddenly, the “C” word was back.  We thought it was just a small spot of lung cancer that could be treated, and my dad prepared to come stay with us for the initial scans and treatment. Before treatment could commence he had a stroke, then we got even worse news, he was diagnosed with brain cancer instead. He went home after getting some medical treatment and chemo. After three short months had passed, we bid him farewell as he spent his last days in hospital. Jump forward another couple of years and we get to my story.

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Johan Frylinck

(Prostate Cancer)

I took out a Platinum Life policy in 2008. Today, I think it was one of the best decisions of my life.

After a few doctor’s visits and two biopsies starting in April 2022, my husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer in August 2022. You often wonder how you will react in such circumstances, but nothing really prepares you for the shock when it becomes a reality. We are pensioners so money for extra expenses just isn’t there. We had to go to Bloemfontein for a bone and CT scan. Thereafter, it was decided that brachytherapy needed to be done. There were so many expenses that we didn’t know how we would get to all of them.

Somewhere during all the turmoil I read the policy and realised that there was cover for prostate cancer. I contacted Platinum Life. The staff were helpful and sympathetic. About three weeks after the claim forms were sent in, the policy paid out! What a relief not to have to worry about money as well as Johan’s health.

After the treatment Johan, received a delightful pamper package from Platinum Life as well as a caring phone call.

Thank you Leandi Schoonees, for your phone call and your concern three months after treatment while Johan was recovering.

A big thank you to Platinum Life. It is wonderful to experience such good service and care in times of sorrow and worry.

Anita, Johan Frylinck’s wife

Kathy de Wit

(Breast Cancer)

My story – being diagnosed with breast cancer!

Looking back, I have come out of this ordeal on top by the Grace of God.

I had just completed the Cape Town 42.2 Marathon in October 2022 feeling on top of the world! November was my annual appointment for my mammogram, which came as second nature. The doctor said that she was very worried about my test results as things did not look good and suggested I have biopsies done on both breasts. This scared me because, in the back of my mind, I always thought about my sister having been diagnosed 30 years ago with breast and uterine cancer. Fortunately, she recovered so well that she gave birth to two beautiful girls and remarkably, was able to breastfeed them.

With the end of the year fast approaching, the specialist assigned to my case was unable to do the biopsies until early January 2023. With the biopsies done I thought all would be well, until I got the call on 20 January 2023 that I had been diagnosed with stage one breast cancer in the left breast.

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Piet Snyman

(Kidney Cancer)

Piet has always been a healthy man, then suddenly in October 2022 he developed kidney stones. Our family doctor placed him on a drip and after three bags I had to drive him to the Urology Hospital in Pretoria. Fortunately, the doctor arranged everything so that Piet could be admitted immediately.

Dr Josh Strydom saw him that evening and gave him medication to manage the pain. While doing the laser procedure to break down the kidney stones, Dr Strydom saw that there was a malignant tumour on his left kidney that needed to be removed urgently. On 23 November 2022 during the operation, they saw that the tumour had grown and had closed the aorta and the renal tubes. They had to remove the entire kidney, not just a portion as they had planned, to prevent the tumour from growing and spreading.

It was a tremendous shock to both of us when we received the news of the malignant tumour. Piet was in doubt about whether or not he should do it. It was a matter of prayer and we are so thankful that Our Father showed us the right path to have the operation, because if Piet hadn’t he might not be here anymore with the tumour growing as large as it did.

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Mavis Petersen

(Breast Cancer)

My name is Mavis Petersen. One evening late in March 2022 at the age of 71, while powdering myself, I felt a lump under my left breast. I remained calm and didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want to alarm my family.

I went to our local clinic the next morning for a professional examination. The nursing sister referred me to a state hospital. I went there about three days later without a prior appointment having been made.

God opened doors for me that day because they fitted me into their busy schedule. The doctor wasn’t happy with the shape of the lump and did a biopsy immediately. Cancer cells were found. There is no immediate history of cancer in my family.

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Mavis Petersen

(Breast Cancer)

On 14 July 2022, I received the news that I had cancer. It came as a shock to me; I laughed and cried, then laughed and cried again in front of the doctor. I tried to prepare myself but still, you are never prepared for such news.

I am a mother of two daughters; I couldn’t tell them that I had cancer. They went to visit their grandparents over the school holidays, which is when I found out that I had cancer, and I asked my mom to tell them. I mean how do you tell your children you have cancer? I was emotional for a long time, I still am at times. It was very difficult for me to tell my mom, we cried over the phone.

I was only able to speak to my children over the phone two days after my mom had told them about my diagnosis. The first thing my youngest said to me was, “ Everyone is lying to me, everyone says you are going to be okay, but you are going to die.” That was the most painful thing to hear coming out of my child’s mouth! I promised her there and then that I would be okay.

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