Fatima Sydow
Photo Credit: Supplied - Fatima surrounded by her family

Amid her cancer journey, celebrity chef Fatima Sydow has found incredible strength in her community. In a matter of weeks, over 1000 supporters have raised R725 000 for her which will see her through the next stretches of the brave fight.


Lansdowne, South Africa (26 September 2023) — Celebrity chef, cookbook author, and TV show host, Fatima Sydow (49) from Lansdowne in Cape Town bravely shared a different journey with her followers at the end of 2020; one that was world’s away from her popular page ‘Cape Malay Cooking with Fatima Sydow’.

In December 2020, she opened up about her cancer journey—Stage 4 Soft Tissue Sarcoma.

While the journey has naturally tested her strength and resilience through a challenging array of treatments and surgeries, her path has also been met with glimmers of hope and moments of triumph against the odds—drawn from both her own strength and that of those around her.

In mid-August, Fatimia confessed that she was overwhelmed by the ‘Good Fight’ and was no longer able to work. Confronted with the weight of her battle, Fatima knew she needed financial help to navigate the road ahead, and so she set up a crowdfunding campaign.

“It’s a difficult realisation, one that requires me to seek the support of others to sustain the fight that still lies ahead,” she shared.

Pictured above: Fatima with her oncology palliative nurse, Carly Rinquist and Kulthum Mukuddem Ismail, Head of the radiation department at Vincent Palotti.

This moment of vulnerability was met with overwhelming kindness. Over the coming weeks, Fatima would not just see the support of South Africans (and others from around the world) coming together for someone caught between a rock and a very hard place, but would directly feel how that kind of support is a source of enormous strength beyond financial necessity.

More than 1000 donors came together to raise R725 000 towards her target of R750 000, meaning that Fatima can now focus on her treatment without the burden of work or financial worries.

“The support I’ve received has shown me the humanity of our community and the love we have for each other, our culture, our people, our city, and our country. I am so grateful; you have carried me through this journey more than you realize. You’ve done so much. Thank you; I love you all.”—Fatima Sydow.

These funds will provide crucial support by covering her fundamental requirements, such as medical treatment, at-home caregiving services, and the purchase of a hospital bed for her forthcoming discharge, as Good Things Guy is informed.

They will also assist in addressing ongoing day-to-day costs, including specialized dietary needs, weekly transportation to the hospital for treatment, and any other essentials that can significantly improve her overall comfort and quality of life.

This outpouring of support has deeply touched Fatima and her family, underscoring the transformative power of even the smallest acts of kindness and the resilience needed to conquer life’s challenges.

Fatima recently completed a series of radiation therapy sessions, with a focus on treating the cancer in her frontal lobe, the region associated with one’s personality, and her right forearm, the skilled hand she’s used for years to craft her famous dishes—5 sessions for the brain, and 10 sessions for the arm.

While she’s currently on a 10-day break, her treatment is ongoing. In the next phase of her journey, she will be managing her condition with oral medication and a wealth of South Africa’s support.

Sources: Supplied/BackaBuddy
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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