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Cancer activist calls for help

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JORDAN MOSHE

With neither medical aid nor funding, she is turning to the Jewish community to help her get to Israel for alternative treatment to address her cancer, which has spread to her lymph and bones.

“We have done much for people going through cancer with the support of this amazing Jewish community,” she says. “Now we are asking for their help once again. I desperately need this community to help me through this crisis.”

Lang, the founder of the Forever Changed global awareness campaign, was diagnosed with late stage breast cancer in 2014, undergoing reconstructive implant surgery as part of her treatment. Her ordeal inspired her to empower others who suffer from cancer by helping them to understand their treatment options, and teaching those around them how best to support their friends.

Two months ago, however, it turned out that she was once again the one in need of support. “Over the past two years, I stopped going for tests because the last ones weren’t clear,” she says. “I thought my implants were causing the problem.”

Lang investigated further, and when the removal of the implants didn’t make any difference, she underwent an MRI and learned the worst – three spreading tumours, affected lymph nodes, and the presence of cancer in her blood. “I discovered it’s a recurrent cancer. In spite of all the procedures I’ve had, it’s back.

“It came out of thin air,” she says. “I never thought that it was even possible to have a recurrent cancer after a mastectomy and chemotherapy. The trauma is devasting, more than it was when I was first diagnosed. My mind is undergoing a terrible psychological battle.”

Lang is receiving alternative treatment at the Golding Institute in Houghton. However, if she can raise the necessary funds, she will travel to Israel to receive cryoablation therapy, a process that uses extreme cold to destroy cancerous tissue. This treatment is not offered in South Africa.

“The treatment is a holistic alternative to chemo,” says Lang. “For anyone who knows chemo, the thought of going through it again is terrifying. My life partner, David Salomon, has done much research into the cryoablation treatment, and we have consulted oncologists around the world. The Israeli technology offers great potential.”

Lang says that contrary to popular belief, alternative treatments are not quackery. “What comes to mind for most people is a homeopathic garlic remedy,” she says. “Alternative medicine is scientific, researched, and approaches the issues from a different angle. Cannabis is just one of these, and there are so many more.

“I understand that a conventional medical team’s contribution is essential,” she says. “I’ve been offered surgery and chemo, not from a survival point of view but only to manage the problem as best as possible. People think that cancer surgery and chemo are the beginning and end of cancer treatment, but it doesn’t work that way.”

The treatment Lang hopes to undergo is offered at Tel Aviv’s New Hope Medical Center, where expert oncologist Dr Joseph Brenner has been treating cancer patients for more than a decade using an integrative approach, combining immune boosting therapies and the hypothermic treatment. “Dr Brenner offers a combined conventional and complementary treatment,” says Lang. “It would be fantastic to get to Israel.”

As part of her fundraising campaign, Lang has planned a high tea on 15 December, and is appealing to the community for assistance. “I’m asking people to help in any way they can, either by donating directly, contributing raffle prizes, or attending the tea. Individuals, small businesses, or corporates can have their names attached to a sponsorship. Every bit helps.”

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