The breast cancer support group Reach for Recovery is appealing to South Africans to support their Ditto Project. Launched in 2011, the project raises funds for external silicone breast prostheses that are provided free of charge to women who have undergone mastectomies.

Says Stephné Jacobs, Board Chairperson of Reach for Recovery: “To date we have provided more than 6,500 women with the prostheses. They are external, silicone prostheses that are natural looking and fitted to each woman. Having a mastectomy is emotionally traumatic and often takes place under severe stress. Having a well-fitted breast prosthesis can have an immediate positive effect on self-confidence.”

The cost of each prosthesis differs according to size and shape, but an average cost is R880.

Mita Groenewald, 50, of Kuils River is one such survivor. The mother of four was diagnosed with lobular carcinoma, the second most common type of breast cancer, in December 2018. In early July 2019 she was admitted to Tygerberg Hospital where she underwent a single mastectomy. Says Mita of her prosthesis: “I was surprised by how comfortable I was at the fitting for the prosthesis. It’s so comfortable and everyone thinks it’s my real breast – you cannot tell them apart.” She adds that while she feels more comfortable having her prosthesis, it does not define her and if women would prefer not to wear them, that is also their right as “no breast cancer survivor should feel the need to justify themselves to anyone.”

For the past three years, Apffelstaedt & Associates has endorsed the Ditto Project and helped to educate and promote fund raising. “As a specialist surgeon, with over 30 years of experience, I have seen first-hand how important it is to build a woman’s psychological confidence post-surgery, as this is the first step towards recovery”, says Dr Apffelstaedt.  “I donate my speaking fee for events to the project as well as contribute from a communications perspective and hope to increase our financial contribution this year.”

If you’d like to be a part of this project and donate, visit:

Mita Groenewald with her supportive family.

Article by MANGO -OMC