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Put on your running shoes to help KZN cancer patients‚ urges Highway Hospice

Put on your running shoes to help KZN cancer patients‚ urges Highway Hospice.
Put on your running shoes to help KZN cancer patients‚ urges Highway Hospice.
Image: 123RF/avemario

A bit of pain to ease the suffering of cancer patients.

That’s the idea behind a new campaign by the Highway Hospice in KwaZulu-Natal‚ who are raising funds to supply much-needed morphine to cancer patients.

In an attempt to raise funds to pay for 100 days’ worth of morphine for patients throughout the region — from Amanzimtoti on the south coast‚ up to Ballito and inland to Botha’s Hill — Highway Hospice has launched the Miles for Morphine charity challenge relay.

The real challenge for participants is not to complete the race on December 1 but to raise R5‚000 before it even starts.

The average patient cared for by Highway Hospice takes six doses of morphine a day. The cost of the oral pain management drug is R8.40 for an average dose of 180mg.

According to Highway Hospice spokesman John Olds‚ R5‚000 can therefore buy 600 doses of morphine.

“The challenge is to first raise funds as a team and then to celebrate your achievement in running your ‘Miles for Morphine’ while having a great day out‚” said Olds.

“Pain management in palliative care is a specialised area of medicine with the goal to allow you to be lucid and able to communicate as best you can. This is a platform to facilitate a comfortable and complete journey towards death — for the patient as well as the people surrounding them — and is therefore critical in most cases.”

Highway Hospice is one of the few hospices in the country that has its own dispensary. “We have put this in place to secure drugs at wholesale prices and save on costs as best we can‚” said Olds.

“This is important as these important drugs are in essence funded by our donors‚ and we have a duty to make donations benefit as many patients as possible.”

The organisation relies almost entirely on the community for funds‚ as the government provides only around 3% of its running costs and the Lotto around 1%.

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