GRAAFF-REINET NEWS - Beloved retired nurse Maggie Botha from Graaff-Reinet lost her battle with pancreatic cancer on 28 April. This pillar of her community, who worked tirelessly to educate people about cancer detection, would've celebrated her 82nd birthday on 1 December. She was laid to rest on Saturday.
Maggie passed away at Midland Hospital, where she served as a qualified nurse in the 60s, 70s and early 80s. She also worked at the Isolation Hospital in Umasizakhe, and was a dedicated volunteer at the Graaff-Reinet Cancer Association after her retirement.
According to her son, Envor Botha, Maggie shared a hospital room with fellow cancer activist Ninky Bekker, who also recently passed away. "They prayed together every morning," Envor said.
Maggie was passionate about her community, and no task was too big or small. "She still read stories to children at Kroonvale Creche, and volunteered until her 80th birthday to help ladies check for cancer," Envor added.
In a touching tribute compiled by the Graaff-Reinet Cancer Association, Maggie is remembered as an exceptional woman, who used her skills and talents to make her community a better place.
"She was absolutely passionate about the importance of [early breast cancer detection]. Every year in October, she would examine hundreds of ladies, and thus saved many lives, which is an incredible achievement," the tribute read. Maggie also ran early detection campaigns at schools, academies, and other institutions.
"She had a unique way of sharing her knowledge and it was always delightful to listen to her talks, which were informative but full of humour too!". Maggie also cared for cancer patients, of whom each one was important to her.
The Association also remembers that, for this humble, friendly and God-loving woman, her family was her pride and joy. "She would've done anything for them."
Maggie is survived by her son Envor, daughter Elizme Edwards and husband Roydon, grandchildren Jarad (who teaches in China), Jody Ann (final year Kovsies student) and mom Belinda, Darren and Carlo (who graduated and live in New Zealand) with mom Cecily, and Dale (EMC student), Jade and Wade from Graaff-Reinet.
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