Campaign to launch Free Cancer Support for 8.15 Million Xhosa Speakers

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Over 14 million individuals worldwide are diagnosed with Cancer every year. 

To offer support to over 100 000 South Africans affected with cancer annually, Cancer Buddies, a free and easily accessible peer-to-peer Buddy Support network was established to support and empower patients, caregivers and families.

With a wealth of knowledge built up over 15 years, Cancer Buddies NPC, offers one-on-one support, practical advice and guidance in tackling the impact of a cancer diagnosis and nutritional and lifestyle changes in overcoming physical, emotional and mental obstacles on the road to recovery.

Ray Cassiem with Reyaan Van Der Westhuizen of Cancer Buddies

“What makes Cancer Buddies so unique is that newly diagnosed cancer patients are matched with survivors trained to offer support and guidance. This enables cancer patients and their loved ones alike to come to terms with their cancer journey without feeling isolated and overwhelmed” says Brett Simpson of Cancer Buddies who was diagnosed with Squamous Cell Carcinoma cancer in 2007.

The landscape of how we cope with and heal through cancer today is changing tremendously quickly, thanks to new & groundbreaking science in psychoneuroimmunology, epigenetics and the placebo effect, which speak to how our emotions and thinking affect our physical bodies, says Simpson.

Brett Simpson CEO Cancer Buddies.jpg
Brett Simpson, Cancer Buddies CEO

 “Like so many others, the impact of my cancer diagnosis was an emotional and psychological rollercoaster. For the first time in my life I was faced with the fear of death and more surprisingly, my fear of wholehearted living.” – says Simpson

“When I had the opportunity to meet with a cancer survivor, someone who understood my fears, insecurities and my specific cancer, because they had walked in my shoes, it changed my perspective. I then understood that ‘cancer’ doesn’t mean death and I was able to shift my negative thoughts and nurture the hope I had left and use it to heal, adds Simpson.

Inspired by Nelson Mandela’s centenary and Breast Cancer Awareness month (October), the Cancer Buddies team have created a campaign on donationsbased crowdfunding platform BackaBuddy, to raise R100 000 to extend their service offering to the Xhosa community. 

In analyzing the limited resources cancer patients currently have at their disposal, the team was unsettled to realize, that cancer support organizations predominately only cater to English and Afrikaans speakers.

Help launch Cancer Buddies in Xhosa. Visit

According to census data from 2011, in South Africa, the vibrant Xhosa speaking community consists of over 8.15 million individuals nationwide. 

“As a non-profit organization dealing with Cancer, a disease that affects 1 in 4 South Africans in one way or another, we have a responsibility to bridge the language gap and branch out to lower income areas who could use our support” – says Simpson


With the funds raised from their  BackaBuddy campaign, Cancer Buddies will be able to employ, retired oncology nurse Marta Booi for 12 months to answer their Toll free help line in Xhosa, translate their website and adapt their social media strategy to include both English and Xhosa content. The funds will also keep Cancer Buddies operational for the next 4 months!

The campaign launched in October 2018 has thus far raised R21 145.89 towards their goal of R100 000 from generous donors.

Donate to this campaign by donating on BackaBuddy here


Alternatively make use of this Snapscan code to donate:

For more information email


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