GEORGE NEWS - Cansa’s biggest stalwart volunteer and supporter, Rita Marx, received the Mariëtte Loots Merit Award for excellent patient service delivery.
Every week Rita Marx and her team of volunteers see to it that 120 patients and their families attending the Oncology Clinic and chemotherapy treatment rooms at the George hospital receive an inspirational message, are able to listen to soft music and are also treated to a cup of tea or coffee and home-made sandwiches.
Rita has also made the chemotherapy room more user-friendly with six armchairs, knee blankets, maga-zines, side tables and a painting.
It was after her son’s successful treatment for acute leukaemia in 1998, that Rita’s philosophy became ‘Being grateful means rolling up your sleeves and getting stuck in’.
She joined Cansa George in January 1999 and did the Patient Care Volunteer course in September and immediately after that she facilitated the Patient Care Volunteer course throughout the Southern Cape and Little Karoo.
Until her retirement in 2005 she filled the post of volunteer programme coordinator and later health services coordinator.
She initiated committees in the various towns of the region and under her gui-dance many volunteers were recruited and trained. She runs the volunteer groups, including the duty roster, administration, fund-raising and problem solving.
She began the Sunflower Project in January 2004 and extended the service to three days a week. The Sunflower team now has 65 volunteers delivering service and many sponsors and friends.
Rita has also for many years acted as a hostess for Cuppa for Cansa functions. Cansa’s projects and health awareness campaigns are widely marketed by the Sunflower Group. Under Rita’s guidance patients receive information regarding the interim home, survivor function and Relay for Life.
Rita believes in the Ethiopian proverb, ‘When spiders’ webs unite they can tie down a lion’. She realised this project would only be possible with the help and support of the community and during these past six years, she has spun such a strong web that she could tie down a pride of lion.
She has been a role model in her long association with Cansa which began in 1999 as employee and after her retirement was continued up and until now.
Marietjie du Toit (Cansa HPC) was awarded the service excellence award in the Western Cape for the South Cape/Little Karoo area. It was directly as a result of her dedication that Irma Bruschi became an important benefactor and donated money to buy the interim house.
The George branch which services the Southern Cape region was awarded a national trophy for the second year running for most outstanding service.