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Nicholas Joseph Colorectal Cancer Survivor Inspires Others

Nicholas Joseph, CANSA RFL Global Hero of Hope & cancer survivor

Nicholas Joseph, CANSA RFL Global Hero of Hope & cancer survivor

I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at the age of 66, at Parklands Hospital, Durban. During surgery an eighth of my colon was removed.  After the operation, I was referred to an oncologist who told me that I had 3rd stage colorectal cancer and that I would need six months of chemotherapy treatment.

Devastated as I was by this news, I decided not to give up – even when my weight dropped from 53kg to 43kg as a result of chemotherapy! During treatment I decided to use my time to motivate others in a similar position to myself. I actively encouraged other patients not to lose hope and to trust God, while we prayed together.

My wife and I shared my diagnosis with all we knew and very soon we had our family, friends and church members praying for my recovery. I thank God that He has spared my life and has given me a new lease on life. With the help of God and the support of my family and friends, I was able to adopt a positive attitude during treatment and this strengthened me to fight back against cancer.

Despite the difficult challenges that I had to deal with, these inspirational words motivated me to be of service to other cancer patients who needed encouragement, as I made the journey towards recovery alongside them:

• It is said that the more you give, the more you get.

• The more you share, the more you’ll have to spare.

• The purpose of life is to help others and if you can’t help them, would you at least not hurt them.

• Service to humanity is the best work of life.

As a result, I volunteered at St Anne’s Church, TAFTA on the Ridge, Holy Family College, Highway Hospice, Retired Teachers Association on Ottawa, St Michael’s Church and Nazareth House for Frail Citizens.

I am currently serving as the Chair on CANSA’s Durban Volunteers’ Committee and am the Vice Chair for the CANSA KZN Regional Committee.

I am very passionate about creating greater awareness about the work that CANSA is doing in the fight against cancer. As a result, I became involved in Relay For Life (RFL) to help raise much needed funds for CANSA and also to promote awareness re lowering cancer risk. I took part in the Mkhuhla RFL Event.

Today I weigh 54kg and have been in remission for 4 years. Cancer has given me a greater appreciation of life – my brother died of cancer at the age of 3 and my sister is a breast cancer survivor of 17 years.

My hope is that my story will encourage other cancer patients to share their journey with others instead of being afraid; that they would not lose hope, but continue trusting in God and that they would realise that they can be of service to others as they journey towards recovery.

Queries CANSA

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