This survivor is about to go on an epic journey of self-discovery from breast cancer to the base camp of Everest in the mountains of Nepal.
South Africa (30 August 2022) – At some time or another, we all have heard about the magic and mystery of the Mountains of Nepal and especially Mount Everest, the highest mountain of them all at 8,849m and a South African cancer survivor is ready to take this journey on, in aid of helping others.
Nicole Fuller is a former Springbok athlete who has had breast cancer herself but made a strong recovery and is now doing her part as a cancer navigator. Brand Ambassador of the Machi Filotimo Cancer Project [MFCP], Fuller has been invited by Saray Khumalo and her “Summits with a Purpose” team to trek the mountains of Nepal for 20 days in October 2022 to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month and raise funds for the MFCP.
“I am not about to climb Mt Everest. Still, I think that Everest Base Camp and Island peak mountain (one of Everest’s baby sister mountains) are enough of a challenge in themselves. As this year will be my 5th year since my Breast Cancer diagnosis, I am honoured to have the opportunity to smash this goal and KICK CANCER’S BUTT!!” Nicole says with excitement.
The hike starts in Lukla, Nepal, trekking to Everest Base Camp and climbing Island Peak. Nicole’s objective is to raise R60,000.00 through BackaBuddy to assist the MFCP in continuing to support cancer patients and their families in the spirit of Filotimo. The fundraiser also aims to create awareness and education about cancer, its symptoms, and treatment through its navigation and champions programmes.
Evy Michalopoulos, the Founder of the MFCP, experienced the trauma of losing her mother to cancer and has personally experienced the disease herself. This compelled her to establish the Machi Filotimo Cancer Project.
“Going from healthy to hospitalised is not something you expect, but in reality, it can happen to anyone, and the last thing on your mind is how you will pay for the bills,” explains Evy.
The non-profit raises funds and creates cancer awareness for those who have been diagnosed, and its aim is to gather support from individuals and businesses who can contribute in any way they can. Evy adds,
“Our goal is to raise money for cancer awareness and to support those financially and emotionally who have been diagnosed with cancer.”
Nicole’s personal journey with cancer has not been an easy one. Despite being a former athlete and living a healthy lifestyle, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“Cancer certainly does not discriminate,” she says.
She recovered remarkably because of her fitness and ability to not let cancer define her and was completely active six weeks post-mastectomy. As a cancer survivor, she found her passion for patient navigation, a person who helps guide a patient through the healthcare system as she connects deeply with her patients and understands what they are going through.
Nicole says, “I take comfort in the fact that I am making a difference”. By achieving her goal with the fundraiser, she will be equipped to keep raising cancer awareness with MFCP and its cancer navigation projects. She adds, “This is an opportunity of a lifetime not only for my own experience and to challenge myself but to raise funds for MFCP so that we may continue to support cancer patients and their families in the spirit of Filotimo!”