Ivy Mahlangu (47) sadly lost her battle with breast cancer on 3 July. Several months before, she also suffered third degree burns. In her role as a community educator and counsellor at the Breast Health Foundation, she educated over 120 000 patients. Her colleagues and patients share what she meant to them.
Louise: Ivy has been a beacon of hope for many patients and their families, a real Earth Angel. Her determination to make a difference in the world was her driving force; showing empathy and compassion to all that where blessed to cross her path.
Determined to heal from the burns, to return to work and continue with her treatment, even though she was so weak, she spent several months in hospital. She is the strongest women I have had the privilege of knowing. While enduring constant pain, she smiled her sweet shy smile and kept her amazing sense of humour.
Ivy has shown me that no matter what your circumstances are there are always positives around you – that your pain, whether emotional or physical, is secondary to helping others. I can only aspire to be more like you.
Moipone: She was a wonderful woman and was more of a sister than a colleague. She was passionate about her job. She chose the right career path because she knew how to treat patients; in the way she spoke to them, her smile, patience, understanding and compassion. I will always remember her words: “Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
Ntokozo: She was a colleague, friend and sister.
I could always rely on her. She loved her work and never disappointed. Life-learned lesson from her journey: Never give up till the end.
Tsholofetso: Ivy, you were truly a flower, blossoming in the most difficult time. Your courage and will to push on in your lowest time is an inspiration to me as a survivor. You are a star shining upon all of us.
Boitumelo: Ivy was my sister, friend, and colleague. She taught me how to handle patients, and showed me the ropes at Helen Joseph.Your smile will forever stay fresh in my memory.
Lizzy: She was my true friend and a true counsellor. I would call her late at night because I was in pain and needed someone to talk to and she’d tell me to have faith. When I visited her in hospital, she would end up praying for me instead. That was the kind of person she was.