The News decided to feature three remarkable women from Krugersdorp who have extraordinary stories to share.
First up, we meet 45-year-old copywriter Ashley Stander.
After waking up early to clean the house, make coffee and set the breakfast table, Ashley takes her 11-year-old son to school and proceeds to work.
She usually concludes her day by doing some laundry and taking the dogs for a run, or taking a Pilates class, and only gets to put up her feet no earlier than 8pm.
Just like any other superhero, this Wonder Woman has had to face many hardships to be where she is today.
“I have been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis from the age of 24. This has taught me the important of eat healthily and looking after myself physically. Most people will never appreciate perfect health until they are diagnosed with a disease like this,” she explained. “I was told that I wouldn’t be able to run because of the arthritis but I carried on running anyway. I have run two half-marathons and I am aiming to run my third one in April next year, with my son.”
She also spoke about a challenging time in her life that required her to stay strong for her family.
“In 2009 my husband, our son and I moved to the Eastern Cape to change our lifestyle. We were both working in corporate environments and just wanted to simplify our lives. We cashed in our savings and bought a small business in Grahamstown, in the Eastern Cape,” she said.
“We soon realised that we had made a mistake. The Eastern Cape, as beautiful as it is, has an extremely high unemployment rate. The general public is poverty-stricken. Four months brought in little to no income. My little family of three struggled for almost five years before liquidating the business and returning to Krugersdorp.”
Ashley went on to say that the experience taught her to appreciate what she has.
“It has taught me that the best things in life really are free. It taught me that sticking together as a little family is what pulled us through and as a result pulled us closer together,” she said.
As a member of the Krugersdorp Lions Club she is also involved in several charity projects. One of these is the Padme Project, for which Ashley collects sanitary pads to distribute to underprivileged primary school girls.
By becoming an expert juggler, Ashley has proved that not all heroes wear capes. This is why women like Ashley should not only be appreciated on Women’s Day, but every day of the year.
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