Stellenbosch Mom with incurable cancer won’t survive the year on her current medical aid plan

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Bonita Orson (42) a stay-at-home mother from Stellenbosch, Western Cape, was diagnosed with Myeloma, an incurable but treatable blood cancer, in September 2021.

Knowing that Bonita has two small children between the ages of 2 and 9 years old, as well as a mentally disabled child who is 26, a clinical haematologist at Netcare Kuilsriver, introduced Bonita to a social worker named Kirstie Van Blerk (31), who became attached to the family.

“From the minute I walked into Bonita’s hospital room, I felt an aura of calm. There was no anxiety. There was little fear. She exuded a stillness, a sense of calm, of acceptance. From the minute I met Bonita, she had faith. She handed her fate over to her God and quietly awaited what he had planned for her.” -says Kirstie

After 3 failed attempts at getting her cancer into remission, including a stem cell transplant, Bonita has maintained her strength and dignified confidence, during her almost year-long battle.

Bonita Orson needs a miracle cancer drug to save her life.

“Her haematologists were very optimistic about her prognosis as she is young and can withstand intense treatments. Unfortunately, even with these intense treatments and putting her physical health through the wringer, there has been no success in getting her cancer into remission.” -says Kirstie

A dose of hope

Although Bonita’s cancer is not curable, and all other treatment options have been exhausted, her medical team believes a new drug can add years to her life.

“Without intervention at this point, Bonita will not survive the remainder of the year. There is a light, though, a new and novel drug called Darzalex. This drug has excellent success rates in controlling Myeloma.” –  -says Kirstie

“Unfortunately, Bonita is on the lowest medical plan with LA health ( A division of Discovery Health), and this expensive drug is only available to members on the top-tier plan, which her husband can’t reasonably afford with his council salary.” – says Kirstie

After a string of sleepless nights, Kirstie knew she had to do something to help Bonita, and has since launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy, to raise enough funds to upgrade Bonita’s medical aid plan, and cover her fees for the next 6 months.

Bonita’s doctors say that they will be able to determine if the new drug is having the desired effect within a month, which will buy them time to find a more sustainable solution, should the treatment be successful. 

Since the launch of the campaign, more than R11 000 has been contributed by 7 generous donors, towards Bonita’s fundraising target of R39 000.

“I wouldn’t usually ask for financial help with patients, but I am genuinely losing sleep at the thoughts of these three vulnerable children losing their mama. Bonita told me once that her strength comes from looking into the eyes of her children. They need her, so she has to stay strong for them. She is an incredible example, and I hope many will still have the opportunity to learn from her.” – says Kirstie

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