A Bottomless Pit

It’s been nearly two years; three of four major operations, six months of chemo and many doctors’ bills later. I still can’t get used to looking at an invoice and seeing R22,565.22!

I have a permanent job with a big corporate, I have the best medical aid cover and yet these massive doctors’ bills still leave me speechless.

How much more daunting must it be for other breast cancer survivors?

I am diligent at paying for services rendered – so not paying, or having to delay payment to all the specialists who are ensuring that the cancer stays far from me, is not an option.

Since my diagnosis I have had many friends and colleagues ask how they could help.

After doing the math, and finding that I have shortfalls of over R10,000 in medical bills, I knew I had to do something big to raise the funds to pay my doctors.

Instead of asking for money I decided to appeal to those people in my inner circle, rally their assistance and have a fun-d-raising event. In that way, people will have fun, enjoy a spectacular show and the money goes to a good cause – my sanity!

I approached The Barnyard Theatre and loved their concept –

a unique fundraising solution – sell tickets to a show and get a “commission” on tickets sold. People will enjoy great performances and also enjoy the feeling they get knowing that the money goes for a good cause.

It was hard – physically and emotionally draining! After being too proud to ask for money, I found that asking people to buy tickets to the show (JUST to support me) was sometimes as humiliating as begging for money on the side of the road must surely be. I now have people who won’t take my calls!

In the end, I feel good about the effort I made and I would like to thank all the people who helped and supported me in making the event a success.

I have every intention on continuing on this path of fun(d)raising and appealing to people’s good nature to assist people in the same, tough, situation as I was in.

My “Beginner’s tips to raise funds” for the aspiring fun raiser in you includes:

• Find a good partner (in my case Barnyard Theatre – they are experienced in this sort of thing. The ticket price was reasonably cheap as it excluded food and drinks. The Barnyard had those on sale on the night – including some very yummy pizzas!!)

• Do not spend too much money on trying to raise money! My décor cost about R200 in total! I recycled bottles as vases, used crepe paper for flowers and printed Breast cancer labels on my printer.)

• Call on family and friends for support and to spread the word. If each friend gets two of their friends to come along for some fun you will soon fill those tables!

• Treat your supporters as VIPs – you may want them to support you again in future!

Written by Henriette van Kramberg