• Eastern Cape Rising Sun

A ray of light, surviving cancer

Four years ago, Unathi Luphawana (31) from Mdantsane, was told she has eleven days to live after being diagnosed with cervical cancer. A mother to a 5-year-old at the time, Luphawana sank into a deep depression.


Last week, a healthy and vibrant Luphawana launched a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) to assist people facing life-threatening situations. She provides a healing platform for people with cancer, rape victims, divorcees and suicidal students facing a life they are not prepared for.


This is made possible by a ‘miracle’ that ensured that she was cured of cancer and given a second chance in life, which she is embracing with gratitude. While she was counting down the dreaded eleven days, on day seven she got a call from a doctor in Cape Town recommending that she undergoes intensive treatment. “I jumped at the opportunity and underwent the gruesome treatment. I also went through chemotherapy and radiation for sixteen months. In 2017, I was declared cancer free,” she enthuses during the launch in the CBD.


In as much as she credits the treatment, she reckons love and support from the doctor to her family is what pulled her through. “My family, my mother, my sister and my friends, wow, they played a role I will never forget. Even this NPO would still be just an idea in my head if it was not for them,” she said emotionally.


Her vision, is to become all the support she had, to people in dire need of hope. She wants to tackle loneliness, judgement and access to information for those who are not as fortunate as she was. “You might not have cancer but I feel there’s a cancer inside everyone. It could be financial health, romantic relationship, depression, abuse, or unemployment. There is treatment like chemo and radiation and it is called getting up and putting together the puzzle called life,” said Luphawana.


Mother, Phumeza Lupuwana and founder of NPO, Unathi Lupuwana.


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