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Charity profile

What is Project Flamingo & how did it all start?

Project Flamingo is a non-profit organisation that aims to achieve timely & holistic breast cancer care in the South African public healthcare sector.

Like many good things in life, Project Flamingo started around a good bottle of wine and a desperate email that landed in the right inbox. When faced with the heartbreaking, stretched out and often chaotic journey of breast cancer patients in the public health sector, Dr. Liana Roodt decided that something needed to be done. Not only were these women subjected to agonizingly long waiting times for surgery, but they were mostly left isolated in their struggle with a daunting diagnosis. The simple, yet profoundly effective idea of “catch-up surgeries” and “pamper packs” was born. When the AmaBele Belles Dragonboat Racing Team pledged the first donation to the project on a radio interview, it was kismet. Project Flamingo has subsequently changed hundreds of lives since its launch in 2010, having completed over 1,000 catch-up surgeries and handed out over 12,000 pamper packs.

In 2021, we also began to notice that many oncology patients arrive for their chemotherapy hungry, due to the large number of South Africans faced with food insecurity. With chemotherapy placing a large strain on the body, we decided to initiate food parcels for those in need. These parcels contain 4 servings of some food staples, and are given to patients in need as identified by social workers. We hope this small gesture will help make this difficult journey a little bit easier for our patients.

What exactly are we raising funds for?

1) Timely surgery for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients – currently achieved by funded catch-up surgery lists performed in the Western Cape at Groote Schuur Hospital (Cape Town) & Tygerberg Hospital (Cape Town), and in the Eastern Cape at Livingstone Hospital (Gqeberha) & Cecilia Makiwane Hospital (East London). Each surgery costs between R4,500-R6,000, this is to pay for the theatre time, theatre consumables and nursing staff.

2) Pamper packs - these are handed out to newly diagnosed breast cancer patients at a 'combined breast clinic' where a panel of expert clinicians, including surgeons, oncologists, pathologists and radiologists meet to discuss the patient's diagnosis and treatment plan. This is a traumatic ordeal and pamper packs are a simple and effective way to keep their feminine spirit alive. With personal care essentials, snacks and thoughtful extras, pamper packs have become a symbol of hope. Each pamper pack costs approximately R185 to put together.

3) 3) Food parcels - these parcels contain 4 servings of some food staples, and are given to patients in need as identified by social workers, as many oncology patients in the South African public health care system are faced with food insecurity, another obstacle in their road to recovery which we hope to help alleviate.

Thank you for considering a donation towards Project Flamingo - since we are an NPC, we run completely off of donations and would like to thank you for helping us achieve timely & holistic cancer care in South Africa.

If you have any questions, please head over to our website, www.projectflamingo.co.za or email us on info@projectflamingo.co.za