Surgeon runs to restore patients' dignity

Dr Karin Baatjes ran a marathon to raise funds for survivors of breast cancer.
“For many years, I have been helping breast cancer patients with my hands,” says Dr Karin Baatjes, a surgeon with the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences (FMHS). “But this year I am going to do it with my feet!”
 
An avid runner, Baatjes, who recently turned 42, decided to run a full marathon (42.2km) to raise R42 000 for Reach for Recovery’s Ditto Project that provides external prostheses to women who have undergone mastectomies due to breast cancer.
 
“I want to combine my two passions in life, surgery and running, for a good cause,” says Baatjes who has also been a breast cancer surgeon at Tygerberg Hospital for 11 years. She completed the West Coast marathon on Saturday 23 April 2016.
 
“The Ditto Project enables women from all backgrounds to regain their femininity after a mastectomy by providing them with silicone external prostheses – something not all women can afford.”
 
Reach for recovery is an international breast cancer support group, run by breast cancer survivor volunteers that offer emotional and practical support to patients in both state and private health services around the country. 
 
The project has already raised more than R20 000 from local and international donors. “It is made possible by the goodwill and kind heartedness of donors,” says Baatjes. 
 
Last year she raised R54 000 to buy rain jackets and socks for 1200 pupils at Rosendal Primary School in Delft, Cape Town.
 
You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
 
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