Sunninghill, South Africa
Charity: African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer
Medical Condition: Cardiac disease
Medical Therapy: Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator
Kwanele Asante was diagnosed with breast cancer and developed chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy, which can lead to congestive heart failure. She received a cardioverter defibrillator to help her cope with her condition. The device and her heart medications have significantly improved her quality of life. Kwanele uses her extra life to advocate for the health rights of indigent Africans with cancer through her work with the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) — a biomedical research-focused non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to cancer prevention and control in Africa. Kwanele’s Bakken Invitation Award will help train 100 African patient advocates in ‘Cancer 101, Public Health Education and Government Lobbying,’ so they can effectively lobby their nation states to make cancer an African priority.
"I was diagnosed with breast cancer and developed chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy — which in my case led to severe congestive heart failure. I was implanted with a cardioverter defibrillator to help me cope with my condition. The device and my heart medications have significantly improved my quality of life.
"In gratitude for my new lease on life, I feel I have a moral duty to use my academic training in law and bioethics to advocate for the health rights of African cancer patients who do not have access to the essential treatments that I depend on for my life.
"I use my extra life to advocate for the health rights of indigent Africans with cancer to ensure that they receive equitable access to the essential health services and products they are entitled to. I am also committed to working to help end global cancer disparities in my role as the Lead for the African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) Advocacy. AORTIC is leading the way to halt what has been termed the 'runaway train' of cancer on the continent, and it has distinguished itself by including lay patient advocates within the African biomedical research agenda.
“Make the world more equitable by giving back more than you take from society.”
The African Organization for Research and Training in Cancer (AORTIC) is an Africa-based non-governmental organization (NGO) dedicated to the promotion of cancer prevention and control on the continent. AORTIC is the home to some of the leading cancer researchers on the continent with experts committed to finding innovative, Africa-led solutions to address the disproportionate disease burden borne by the continent and to lessen the human suffering it causes. To this end, AORTIC strives to develop collaborative partnerships with key stakeholders — including African Health Ministries and global cancer organizations — to ensure that all African cancer patients receive the treatments and services they need. The grant from the Medtronic Foundation will help AORTIC Advocacy train 100 African patient advocates in 'Cancer Basic Science, Research Advocacy, Safe Use of Medicines and Health Policy Lobbying,' so they can effectively contribute to the African cancer research agenda and lobby their nation states to help make cancer an African priority.
*Not everyone who receives this therapy will receive the same results as the patient in this story. Talk with your doctor to determine if this type of therapy is right for you.