The News decided to feature three remarkable women from Krugersdorp who have extraordinary stories to share.
We meet Rant-en-Dal’s Inez Barnard who has gone through the toughest things a woman can – the possibility of losing her breasts, her long black hair, her ability to read and write and even the two loves of her life – her two gorgeous huskies. After Inez Barnard’s divorce from her husband of 17 years, she was excited to start life afresh. She moved to another town, got a dream job at a magazine and her new (mostly female) colleagues became her family.
In 2016, on a routine visit to the gynaecologist, she had a mammogram done. The doctor asked her if she could do a biopsy of the small lump they had discovered to be analysed and a day later the test result brought devastating news – Inez had breast cancer. The doctor explained to her that a mastectomy was a possibility, but the course of action would be her choice.
Inez had surgery the next day. Luckily for her, the lumps could be removed without the necessity of a mastectomy, although she required both chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
She completed her chemotherapy and when she was ready to start radiation treatment, another wave of bad luck struck – she was hijacked and held hostage. One day, when she stopped to make a call to a client, three armed men surrounded her car and held a gun against her head.
She was robbed and the assailants drove off with her vehicle. She was able to flag down a police van and the officers drove her to her office.
Not long afterward she had a blackout and was subsequently diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour.
A 4cm tumour was removed from her brain. After the surgery she was asked to order food from a menu.
She needed to learn to read and write again and still struggles with some of the words when she speaks.
But, despite all her past challenges, she is still the bubbly, supportive and positive person she was three years ago.
She has found a way to keep her huskies with the help of Husky Heaven and she visits them often.
She wants to inspire women going through the same ordeal by telling them, “If you’re diagnosed with anything like this, don’t postpone treatment because of your fears of how you will look. When you meet people afterward, you have a conversation starter; you can teach them something about life and you can become an inspiration to someone trying to fight to stay alive. Get it over with so that you can start living again. It’s all we have.”
To read the other profiles, click here.
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