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CT firefighter Chantelle Memziwe won't take cancer fight lying down

Chantelle Memziwe (41) was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2017 and is currently undergoing gruelling treatment and two days after completing a cycle of chemotherapy, she finished the virtual Cape Town Marathon.

Chantel Memziwe (41) was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2017. The aviation firefighter at Cape Town International Airport recently completed the 2020 Virtual Cape Town Marathon just two days after completing a cycle of chemotherapy. Picture: Facebook

CAPE TOWN - An aviation firefighter at Cape Town International Airport said that having a solid support structure at work and home helped her to tackle life’s challenges.

Chantelle Memziwe (41) was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2017 and is currently undergoing gruelling treatment.

Two days after completing a cycle of chemotherapy, she finished the 42.2 kilometre Cape Town Marathon this past weekend.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer that originates in the body’s lymphatic system and causes tumors to develop from white blood cells.

Senior aviation firefighter Memziwe explains that she was cleared of the condition for a while, but in June this year discovered she had an enlarged spleen.

"I underwent four cycles of chemotherapy, then the plan was to do a PET (positron emission tomography) scan. If my scan is clear, then I have to go into hospital… 30 days in hospital for a bone-marrow transplant, so last week I went for the PET scan, my scans were not cleared so I had to undergo chemotherapy again."

Memziwe said that this past weekend she ran her fifth consecutive Cape Town Marathon.

"My lovely friend Renee ran with me all the way, so it was virtual so you had to choose your own route and we had support on the road and I said to myself: 'I will do this no matter what because this is my victory race and if you put your mind to something, you can achieve anything no matter what you go through in life.'"

Her older sister is a 100% match and will donate bone marrow for her once she’s been cleared to undergo the procedure.

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