“Instead of feeling sorry for myself, we did research”, says Clifford Ngakane, General Manager of The Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World, after the loss of his wife, Elmarie Ngakane, on March, 2009.
Elmarie was diagnosed with breast cancer, it moved to her lungs, and in a matter of 6 years after Chemotherapy and Radiation led to her death at the age of 41.
Cancer, especially breast cancer has an immense effect on women, especially regarding the mastectomy. “I assured her that she was still beautiful,” says Clifford.
Usually the worst part of breast cancer for a woman would be the mastectomy. However, Clifford states that what affected her more than anything was losing her hair. “She was very conscious. To make her feel more comfortable and at ease my two daughters (who were five and nine at the time) and I all cut our hair”.
Clifford describes her death as the worst day of his life. “After all the research and treatment you become very positive and hopeful. It was the hope that devastated me most, but I wouldn’t do anything differently”. He makes constant reference to his two daughters; where the one is in matric aged 17 Sharni Mpho and the other aged 14 Talia Tebogo and in grade nine.
He explains that because their mother had cancer, they are more susceptible to the disease. But, now he has the knowledge and thus the power to take the necessary preventative measures. As he says, “get the right support early on, do check-ups. Early detection is very important.”