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Jean Smyth – Eyewitness News – a Cancer Survivor & Shavathon Supporter

Jean Smyth

Jean Smyth


In 2011, 28 years old and newly married, a man in a white coat told me that I had non-hodgkins lymphoma. Cancer… Can-cer…. ridiculous, I know!

I can confirm that you can be punched in the gut without actually being physically touched by someone else.

It was a torrid time: I’d just started a new job as a sports reader with EWN, and after being diagnosed immediately had to undergo chemotherapy and radiation treatment at Constantiaberg Hospital followed by treatment at Vincent Palotti Hospital, while still working.

I still hate the smell of hospitals today. As the piercing chemical odour hits my nostrils my mind plays back the bone marrow aspiration I had in my 1st few days while the doctors fretted over my precise diagnosis.


We’ve been fortunate to get the thumbs up from my haemotologist on every subsequent visit to his offices. I’m the patient that puts a smile on his face, along with others, that he can give good news to. There are many others that he can’t, they remain in the fight.

And I was one of the lucky ones, but not special by any means. For there are people fighting with all forms of this dreadful disease, who do so with far greater tenacity, verve and sense of humour than I ever showed. There are real heroes wearing white coats or donning nursing uniforms that are not just replacing your drip with another cocktail of medicine but offering compassion and ensuring that your every comfort is taken care of.

Showing Support to Those Affected by Cancer

In showing your support to those affected by cancer, you offer a glimmer of hope, an ounce of empathy and the simple recognition we’re “all in” the fight together.

This is why I’ve chosen to support the CANSA Shavathon and the Sunflower Fund:

More About Jean

Jean is a Sport Editor at Eyewitness News and can be heard on Radio 702, Cape Talk, 947 and Kfm. You can follow him on Twitter @jeansmyth.

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