Project Flamingo got in on the Mandela Day action early, performing a record 27 breast cancer surgeries in a single day – the highest number in its history – on Saturday, 15 July.
Project Flamingo established in 2010, is a South African breast cancer NGO dedicated to providing life-saving surgeries for people with breast cancer.
The surgeries took place at four public hospitals in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape: Groote Schuur Hospital (Cape Town), George Hospital (George), Cecilia Makiwane Hospital (East London) and Livingstone Hospital (Gqeberha).
Volunteering their time and expertise were doctors, anaesthetists, nursing and operational staff, supported by donations from funders and the general public.
“We are elated and deeply grateful for the momentous day we had on Saturday,” said Dr Liana Roodt, the Project Flamingo co-founder and director. “It was a true reflection of the kindness, compassion and generosity of our healthcare workers and greater team. What a privilege that we could provide timely breast cancer surgeries to these brave 27 women!”
She added: “We always stand in awe of the generosity and kindness that is so typical of South Africans. Give us a problem, and we will find a solution.”
The aim of Project Flamingo
“Project Flamingo is the ultimate example of what could be achieved if people shared a common vision and goal – from highly qualified professionals offering their time and skill as volunteers, to the ordinary citizen making a small monetary contribution, packing a pamper pack or even just telling our story” said Dr Roodt.
Through its historic effort on 15 July, the NGO aims to raise awareness about breast cancer and emphasise the importance of early detection and intervention. This milestone also highlights the impact collaborative efforts can achieve.
“Since the inception of this project in the Eastern Cape we have already seen the impact on the waiting times for our patients,” says Dr Michael Brombacher, a volunteer surgeon at East London’s Cecilia Makiwane Hospital.
Project Flamingo’s mission is to combat breast cancer by providing access to timely and essential surgical treatments for those who are on long waiting lists in the public health sector. By delivering holistic care, from life-saving surgeries to personal pamper packs, and directly strengthening the public health system by investing in essential infrastructure, the organisation has saved and had a positive impact on thousands of lives.
Compiled by Lorraine Kearney.
Feature Image: Supplied