By Nomali Cele
South African football star, Brian Baloyi, who was affectionately called Spiderman throughout his career by fans as the game, stopped by the Kaya 959 studios ahead of the iThemba Walkathon this past weekend.
Appearing on the Kaya 959 flagship music and sports show, The Drive Thru, Brian Baloyi took the time to talk breast cancer awareness as October is breast cancer awareness month. Baloyi’s own wife is a survivor of the disease.
In 2009, Phungi Baloyi was diagnosed with breast cancer. The journey to recovery was a long one. Phungi Baloyi in 2013 told the Sowetan that her husband had played a pivotal role in her recovery.
“Brian is part of the reason why I recovered quickly. After the mastectomy, my body had scars. But he is very supportive. He researched and studied everything about this condition. He was there when I went to chemotherapy and all the other treatments,” the Sowetan quoted her as saying.
Brian Baloyi mentioned the community of breast cancer survivors that rallied around his wife as she recovered. This community included the like of Lillian Dube, who has become an activist for breast cancer awareness and early detection since her own diagnosis.
Speaking to Mosibodi Whitehead and Sandile van Heerden, Brian Baloyi had a single message to share with the family and friends of those who’ve just been diagnosed with breast cancer, those in treatment and those who’ve survived the illness: Be there.
“All they need is just the support and for you just to be there,” said Baloyi.
He added that breast cancer is not a killer, but a lot of people are scared to get diagnosed. People may be scared to take the steps to get tested without support. So it helps if loved ones are present and supportive throughout the process.
Listen to the rest of the conversation with Brian Baloyi: