CELEB WATCH Xolani opens up about cancer di­ag­no­sis

Ra­dio pre­sen­ter says he's ready to fight the dis­ease

Move! - - CONTENTS - By Pheto Ra­makobya

THE coun­try has been in ten­ter­hooks since Talk Ra­dio 702’s break­fast pre­sen­ter, Xolani Gwala, re­vealed live on air that he has been di­ag­nosed with colon cancer. This comes after he spent sev­eral weeks off air. He made the an­nounce­ment dur­ing an in-stu­dio in­ter­view with his fel­low col­league, Stephen Grootes, where he also ex­pressed his con­cern at the lack of state cancer fa­cil­i­ties in the coun­try as the dis­ease is af­fect­ing a lot of peo­ple.

ALL OF A SUD­DEN

Xolani ex­plained that the di­ag­no­sis took him by sur­prise as he was do­ing fine un­til he went to see a doc­tor about a fever he had.

“It was so sud­den. In April, I was run­ning the Lon­don Marathon and be­fore that, I was do­ing a cou­ple of marathons around here. There was ab­so­lutely noth­ing wrong and then sud­denly you go to the doc­tor be­cause you have a fever and they do one or two tests and say ‘lis­ten, you have cancer’. Not just cancer, ad­vanced cancer,” ex­plained the pre­sen­ter.

He also stated that he has gone un­der the knife to re­move a tu­mour in his colon, adding that more treat­ment is yet to come, in­clud­ing chemo­ther­apy, as the cancer has spread to his liver.

“I will be start­ing chemo­ther­apy and then there may be an­other op­er­a­tion later on along the line, so there is quite a lot hap­pen­ing,” he said.

BIG­GEST FIGHT OF HIS LIFE

Even in the face of ad­ver­sity, Xolani is still pos­i­tive and says he’s ready to fight the cancer.

“It is going to be a very long fight, partly be­cause the cancer is in its ad­vanced stage. It’s going to be a dif­fi­cult fight, but it is a fight I am ready for.”

He also brought his on­col­o­gist to the in­ter­view, who ex­plained that Xolani is re­spond­ing well to surgery and re­cov­ered in record time.

RAIS­ING AWARE­NESS

Xolani ex­plained that the cancer di­ag­no­sis was an eye-opener for him and he now knows more about the dis­ease and wants to raise aware­ness about it.

“After this, I have learned, we’ve got to raise aware­ness. There’s cancer all over and it can hap­pen to any­one. I don’t smoke or drink, I live well and my par­ents don’t have it, as far as I know. So the thing about cancer is that it can hap­pen to any­one. But do we have state fa­cil­i­ties to deal with it?” asked Xolani.

He added, “My on­col­ogy treat­ment is over half a mil­lion (Rand) and I’m not talk­ing about any­thing else, I'm just talk­ing about the on­col­ogy treat­ment.”

“So you say to peo­ple to go get tested and then what hap­pens after­wards when in KwaZulu-Natal there isn’t a sin­gle on­col­o­gist, what do the peo­ple there do? Where do they go? And where do they get that kind of money? I’m lucky I have med­i­cal aid. We need to start a cam­paign that’s sim­i­lar to the treat­ment ac­tion cam­paign, where they cam­paign about the prices of Aids drugs. That has to be done for cancer.” Xolani was un­able to com­ment fur­ther as he is tak­ing time to heal at the mo­ment.

IT IS GOING TO BE A VERY LONG FIGHT

Xolani Gwala re­cently opened up about be­ing di­ag­nosed with ad­vanced colon cancer

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