Help us to give our friend Retha a fighting chance to live as long as possible with the least discomfort. Retha is a modern-day Florence Nightingale who deserves our kindness and generosity. Below the medical information, we give a bit of her background.
For regular updates and interaction visit our Facebook Page "My Friend Retha"
Retha was admitted Mid-December 2019 to a state hospital in Johannesburg South Africa with suspected cancer. The State hospitals in South Africa are underfunded and understaffed. A series of events in the state healthcare system has delayed the final diagnoses for a long time, which has caused so much trauma for Retha and her family. Retha has finally been diagnosed with stage 3C clear cell adenocarcinoma that has spread to the peritoneum, upper abdomen and maybe stomach and pancreas. The cancer originated from the ovaries. She has the added problem of malignant ascites which is a fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity.
Her oncologists (cancer specialists) are in agreement that:
(1) There is no surgical solution
(2) CHEMOTHERAPY is the only management option . This will halt the buildup of ascites fluid and statistically give her a 5-year survival hope of 20%. Without chemo, ascites will likely lead to bowel obstruction.
Our previous fundraisers are currently enabling Retha to have tests done and to access private treatments to ease symptoms. She still need more funds to start a series of chemotherapy sessions. As with the majority of ME/CFS patients, Retha is not financially stable as she has been unable to be in employment for a number of years. This means she does not have private health insurance. Her husband is retired and with the current political and economic climate in South Africa, employment is very hard to find. Sadly the private route is extremely expensive and without medical aid or insurance, the only other option is to use public hospitals. Thus it is urgent to raise more funds for Retha to continue with private treatment and care
Retha is currently very ill as she is also suffering from a chronic debilitating neuro-immune disease called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis since 2008. Her weight loss has reached critical levels and she is currently on a special eating plan to try to stop losing weight.
By contributing, you are not just helping one person, you are also helping hundreds, if not thousands of ME/CFS patients in South Africa who look to Retha for help and support
Remember to check the Update Tab for information on Rewards (new one's will be added from time to time) and of course for updates on Retha.
Or you can visit our Facebook Page "My Friend Retha"
Retha Viviers Background:
Retha is a remarkable person who saw a need and moved forward to fill that need. After becoming ill with ME/CFS she formed a Facebook support group in 2012. She became aware of the dire needs of patients for hope, companionship, financial assistance, medical treatment, special care facilities, and basic living necessities. She realised something had to be done for ME/CFS in South Africa and founded The ME CFS Foundation South Africa. The Foundation provides healthcare and counselling services for people with ME/CFS who cannot afford it; raises awareness of ME/CFS, and advocates for the rights and interests of people with ME/CFS. Retha has been doing amazing work in South Africa and across the continent of Africa for ME/CFS patients. Additionally she has been involved internationally with advocacy work. You might remember her as a participant in Jen Brea’s well known award-winning film “Unrest” You can visit The ME CFS Foundation South Africa’s website for more information on Retha's work.
Retha Viviers has become the Florence Nightingale of the ME/CFS community. Florence Nightingale would have been 110 this year (1820 - 1910). Florence Nightingale was a British nurse who is considered to be the founder of modern nursing. She was affectionately called "The Lady with a Lamp" because of the oil lamp she carried during hospital night rounds. While stationed in the Crimea, Florence Nightingale developed "Crimean fever" (a bacteria infection now known as brucellosis) and never recovered. She remained mostly bed bound for the rest of her life. Although myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) also known as ME/CFS, were not defined in her lifetime, many physicians and medical historians today believe she had developed ME/CFS as a result of a chronic brucellosis infection.
Florence Nightingale was a force in helping sick people and developing sound nursing practices which still influence modern nursing practices today. This describes our Retha to a T - Retha is the Florence Nightingale of the ME/CFS community!
The ME/CFS community has a term 'payback’ which patients use when their symptoms have flared. With this fundraiser, we have another meaning for the term 'payback'. It is time to 'payback' Retha for the kindness, support and love she has shown others over the years.
Please donate and keep Retha’s light shining bright.
Any amount would be gratefully received and utilised to help our Retha fight back.
For regular updates and interaction visit our Facebook Page “My Friend Retha”