Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Just when you think you can't take one more step, you find you have taken another three.

Activist refuses to let illness stop her walking for a good cause
Siyamtanda Capacapas@timesmedia.co.za
HUMAN rights activist, Dianne   Lang,  refuses to let illness hold her back and will join thousands of Bay residents walking for a good cause tomorrow.
The 59-year old Engcobo-born  Lang  has been living with hypo gamma globulin anaemia – a rare type of cancer – for five years and had a bilateral mastectomy on July 22.
After being bed-ridden for months, she will walk in the Algoa FM Big Walk tomorrow.
Lang  is kept alive by the cell transplants she receives every second week, donated by people through their blood products. This gives her a temporary immune system for two weeks.
“It is either I am being completely stupid or I am being brave enough to show people that if you want to do something badly enough you can do it, there is no excuse,” she said.
 Lang  said her physicians had advised her against participating in the walk.
“They say I am taking my life into my own hands. I may not walk far because I have exertion asthma from the hypo globulin anaemia and peripheral neuropathy, which means the nerves to my legs and feet are dead. But I want to go as far as I can.”
While other walkers will walk in pink,  Lang  will tackle the 5km walk in orange because the ribbons for leukaemia are orange.
“I will be walking for rare diseases South Africa. I am doing it so people can see that there is more to cancer than breasts, there are other rare diseases, and rare diseases are kept outside of the loop,”  Lang  said.
One of the major challenges is the isolation that comes with rare diseases, she said.
“When you have a disease like this one, you grieve for who you once were, you get to a point where you have to redefine your life and say how can I live my life with meaning within the limitations that I have.
“If I cannot inspire another human being and make them examine their life, then my life becomes meaningless. If you look at my physical condition I know it is a crazy thing to do, but I want to die with my boots on.”  (Written by Siyamtanda Capacapas)

It was not a clever move – my walk/roll in the wheelchair put me into hospital the following day and I only came out this afternoon.  BUT I DID IT!!!    The ferociousness of the human spirit is unparalleled anywhere else in the world and can overcome far more than you think it can.  Just when you think you can't take one more step, you find you have taken another three. 
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