Project Flamingo was founded by Dr Liana Roodt in 2010 to provide free cancer surgery to those who cannot afford it but urgently need it. She currently works at Groote Schuur Hospital and has always been passionate about breast cancer surgery. According to Roodt “The waiting period for surgery can often be up to 12 weeks and the number of patients who are dependent on public health care is growing every day and our resources have simply not kept up with it,”.
The free surgery is only available at Tygerberg and Groote Schuur hospitals and aims to ensure cancer patients receive timely surgery through funded catch-up surgery lists. “As a medical professional, there is nothing more heartbreaking and soul-destroying than knowing what a patient needs and knowing what is available, and not being able to offer that,” said Roodt.
She also believes that emotional and psychological support is important to a person who is diagnosed with cancer so the project issues Pamper Packs. These packs are put together for newly diagnosed breast cancer patients at the Groote Schuur and Tygerberg Hospitals. Once a week a panel of expert clinicians, including surgeons, oncologists, pathologists and radiologists meet with approximately 20 newly diagnosed patients to discuss their diagnosis and treatment plan. The Pamper Packs contain all sorts of treats to make our patients feel cared for.