Cancer Survivors Caring | Creating Awareness | Celebrating Life

Support network

Introduction to the People Living with Cancer organisation

About PLWC

The People Living with Cancer (PLWC) organisation is a survivor driven umbrella organisation responsible for many related cancer projects such as awareness and education, care and support as well as advocacy.

The organisation has developed guidelines that are aligned with international protocols, and in so, has equipped the organisation with one of the most established volunteer psycho-social programs in the country.

The passionate volunteers of PLWC participate in the ‘Journey of Cancer’ which includes initiatives pre – Cancer, during Cancer treatment as well as post Cancer treatment activations.

Our awareness and education partners

The Love your Nuts organisation is our dynamic testicular Cancer awareness campaign driven by Torsten Koehler. The organisation focuses on creating awareness and raising funds for the following projects:

The Schools Project
Currently there is no information on cancer in the South African school syllabi. The successful LIVESTRONG school program from the USA has been adjusted for use in the South African school environment.

Love Your Nuts
Aims to fund the implementation of this school program through its initiatives.

Keep the ball rolling
This campaign involves a huge ball (180cm diameter) that will be rolled by students from school to school to raise awareness for (testicular) Cancer. Depending on funding, the ball will be rolling nationwide and hopefully not stop.

The Ride for Skin Cancer organisation is our Cycle project that raises money for our Cancer Buddies support services. This project has grown into a very successful awareness campaign with new national rides being planned. In the annual Argus Cycle tour more than 150 riders will be participating.

The Cancer Dojo (one of our new organisations) is a Digital Creative Lab (founded late 2014). produce communication and advertising in the form of ideas, platforms and content in both the traditional and digital context. All our work is for the benefit of people living and fighting cancer. Spearheaded by award winning digital strategist and brain cancer survivor Conn Bertish.

With over 20 years advertising experience, Conn believes that brands and creative thinking can play a big role in cancer survivorship and society. This project is developing cancer awareness games, as well as educational and fundraising mobile applications. All proceeds of Cancer Dojo are being invested in addressing stigma in communities.

Our support services

This is a project that carefully matches and individually pairs a newly diagnosed person touched by cancer with someone who has fought and survived the same type of cancer (a Cancer Buddy). This project is considered as one of the most established psycho-social support networks in SA. Over 300 volunteers participate in this project nationally. The Cancer Buddies project is funded by the awareness initiatives of PLWC, with its biggest contributor being Cancervive.

Cancer Buddies are trained cancer survivors who are sharing their knowledge with newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families. These 1-on-1 relationships inspire hope and offer the chance to ask personal questions and receive support from someone who is uniquely familiar with the cancer experience.

The service is free and helps anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any cancer stage or level, at any age, living anywhere in South Africa.

Can Sir

The Voice of men with Cancer educating, supporting -

PLWC partnerships and advocacy

PLWC partners in programs of International standing to ensure that Cancer as a non-communicable disease (NCD) receives the attention it should, as determined by the UN as part of the millennium American Cancer Society (ACS) partners, Livestrong partners from the USA and the UICC (International Union against Cancer in Geneva)

PLWC is a member of the Cancer Alliance, assisting in the coordination with 22 different Cancer NGO’s in speaking up and strengthening the Advocacy agenda in SA with the emphases on lobbying for a National Cancer Plan for SA, a functional Cancer registry for SA and improved service delivery of Cancer services to previously disadvantaged communities in SA.

  • PLWC was invited to be the SA Cancer ambassador in New York in June 2011, to advocate South Africa’s Cancer issues at the United Nations.
  • PLWC attended the UICC conference in China as the guest of the American Cancer Society.
  • PLWC attended the Livestrong World summit in Ireland as guest of Livestrong.
  • In 2013, PLWC was invited to attend the Cancer Advocacy Leaders meeting for Africa and Asia in Morocco.
  • In 2014, PLWC was invited to present 3 papers on our controversial Photo Voice Advocacy project at UICC Conference in Melbourne.
  • PLWC is the Management organisation of Advocates for Breast Cancer (ABC) Alliance in South Africa.
  • PLWC is a stakeholder of the Non- Communicable Diseases Alliance (NCD) in South Africa.

  • PLWC assists in the funding of the three Groote Schuur support groups within the Oncology department.
  • PLWC assists with the development and provided training of the Baragwanath Hospital Cancer Buddy group.

PLWC lobbies on behalf of their member projects for better Cancer services delivery and cost effective chemotherapy to be available to all South Africans in SA. We assist in formal and informal stakeholder meetings that address critical Cancer issues for example:

  • The PLWC Photo Voice Advocacy research project has been ethically approved by the Medical Research Council of South Africa. This project was coordinated by Dr Lynn Edwards and PLWC Director Linda Greeff. The results have been presented at numerous events in SA and internationally and is paving the way for innovative Advocacy actions in the near future.
  • Lobbying on behalf of all members for a comprehensive cancer plan for South Africa.
  • Eliminating the stigma that is still attached to cancer in the South African community.
  • Lobbying to address poor services delivery to cancer patients attending government hospitals countrywide.
  • Liaising with the government regarding improvements of legislation around cancer care in South Africa.

  • Raynolda Makhutle – two-time survivor and an activist in the communities
  • The Cancervive initiative has enabled volunteers to reach out and make a difference in their own communities. Raynolda Makhutle is one of our ‘star’ survivors who has touched thousands with her humble approach. This amazing woman has volunteered her time to our cause by spending her days in the community clinics and hospitals around Gauteng, educating people on early detection and giving support to patients around her.
  • In 2013 - 2018, she personally came face to face with approximately 160 000 people.
  • This inspiring woman and dedicated activist has now become a member of the Cancervive management team and is a full time employee.

PLWC’s advocacy initiative uses the photovoice method to gather authentic information about what South Africans have to say about their experience of cancer care. Through speaking out about problems, cancer advocacy provides an opportunity for patients, their families and supporters to influence decision making processes that affect their lives. Advocacy uses different strategies to influence decision-making at local, national and international levels, including lobbying, social marketing, information, education and communication, community organizing and other tactics. The Photovoice campaign is supported by Cancervive - with the facilitating and collation of information in rural areas during the annual motorcycle awareness ride.