• “When you push off from the dock … we’re all in the same boat. 
    This isn’t about cancer anymore. It’s about exercise and health and the rest of your life. 
    When we push off we’re paddling away from breast cancer.” 

    - Dr. Don McKenzie, Founder, Abreast In A Boat 
  • “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass. It’s about learning to dance in the rain!” 

    - Vivian Greene 
  • “Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.” 

    - T.H. Thompson & John Watson 
  • “I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. 
    The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.’ 

    - Nelson Mandela 
Behind the Cape Grace Hotel, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town
Mondays 17h30 for 18h00 and Saturdays 07h30 for 08h00

Belles Stories » Judith Jaars

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At the age of 52 years old, in March 2006, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I discovered a lump in my right breast and went to visit our GP who could not feel the lump but sent me for a mammogram. While I was there I was asked if they could do a scan, which I agreed to minutes later. I was asked if they could do a biopsy and agreed. About 15 minutes later, I was told I have breast Cancer.

The news was a total shock, and having to deal with it and accept it was difficult.

Fortunately, I knew God was in control of my life. On that same day, while I was travelling home, my son called me to say that his Pastor had a vision that God said he must pray for me. I didn’t know his Pastor. I said they could come around the evening. That was when I shared the news with my family. So acceptance came quickly for me.

On the 23rd of March I had my operation. I decided to have a lumpectomy which required 6 months of chemo and 5 weeks of radiation.

I lost all my hair and went to work bald as I wasn’t going to wear a wig.

Everybody use to come and rub my head and complimented me, saying that I had a nice head.

My work colleagues were really my family at the time. I even get emotional now as I write my story. They were so supportive and caring then and I could see I made an impact in their lives to be loved so much by them.

I was always the one who was the strong one in my entire family, doing things for friends and whoever crossed my path. I could assist or just listen, encourage or pray. It was something different to be at the receiving end.

I even had a friend in church who I did not know for very long. In the same year January 2006 she was diagnosed with lung cancer. She asked me if I could take her daughter, aged 12, should anything happen to her.

Her words were, “please just see that Christonè gets an education”. She passed away on the 24th December 2006. Christonè is now 18 years old and in matric

I then knew GOD’S got a purpose with my life

While I was getting chemo, leaflets were handed out about the Belles and Dragon boating. At the time, you are too ill and just glance at the brochures being handed out.

As I recovered sitting at home, I remembered the ambelle Belles a team of ladies whom are all cancer survivors who do Dragon Boating.

I searched the internet and contacted Pam Newby. I started to paddle in February 2007 and I’m still an active member enjoying it and having fun.

I am proud to be a Cancer Survivor. Through it, I have met wonderful, brave and fun loving people. I’ve learnt so much and my life has been enriched. I’ve even been to Canada for the Cancer Survivors Festival.

To GOD be the glory great things he has done.