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Edenglen Primary urges community to help staff member

“He has spent 17 years with the school and done so much we look forward to seeing what Lee can do in another 17 years,”

Edenglen Primary School has sent out a rallying call to the community to assist with raising funds for staff member Lee Ncube.

Fondly known to learners and teachers as coach Lee, he has been described as a stalwart of the school having started at Edenglen Primary in 2006.

During his time at the school, Lee has devoted himself to improving the lives of the thousands of learners who have passed through the school’s gates.

Despite his devotion and care for learners, Lee and his family were stuck with life-changing news when he was diagnosed with B-cell lymphoma.

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The condition is treatable.

According to the Cancer Association of South Africa (Cansa), B-cell lymphoma is a cancer that starts in white blood cells called lymphocytes.

It grows in lymph nodes, which are pea-sized glands found in one’s neck, groin and armpits, which form part of the immune system.

Edenglen Primary School has sent out a rallying call to the community to assist with raising funds for medical bills for staff member Lee Ncube (centre). Seen with him are some of the school learners, Caleb Thorpe, Gcinintando Shembe, Zeta Conybear, Gin Lin Sung and Lehyam Reddy.

The principal of the school Heather Broodryk described Lee as being an incredibly humble and honourable man.

As the breadwinner of his household, Lee is a father to a 17-year-old daughter and a 22-year-old son who has learning challenges.

He does not have medical aid. In light of this, the school launched a Back a Buddy campaign on November 21 for Lee. By November 23, R19 383.66 had been donated.

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Community members, current and past learners as well as parents of past learners have donated.

“Lee has been with us for such a long time and being the main breadwinner you have to understand a teacher’s income is limited,” explained Broodryk.

Heather described him as a good person who is a real leader and role model for learners.

When Lee first started feeling unwell, he visited doctors who provided him with antibiotics. Yet it was not helping.
He then sought help from an ear, nose and throat specialist to get more answers.

In September Lee was told that he had B-cell lymphoma and that he needed to have a PET scan done in Benoni. It was discovered that Lee had a mass inside the right side of his throat.

Lee said the lump, which has narrowed his oesophagus, makes it difficult for him to drink water, eat and sleep at night. His voice was also affected, becoming soft and husky. Often, he feels fatigued, and has fever shakes or chills.

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Lee said when he received his diagnosis it was a tough pill to swallow.

Being a healthy and sober person Lee said that he never thought that he would be diagnosed with cancer.

“I had always read about the disease and how it affected people. When I was diagnosed it affected me and the family hard, that day many thoughts were going through my mind.”

Although he was taken aback by his diagnosis, Lee said the support from Edenglen Primary and its principal has been phenomenal.

He said after speaking to Heather, she reassured him that everything would be all right so long as he remained positive and steadfast in his faith.

Heather explained that funds raised would be used to cover medical expenses, chemotherapy, and travel costs, and supplement Lee’s income while he is away from work.

“We need as much help as we can get so that the school’s strong voice can return and nurture the learners.

“We look forward to seeing what Lee can do in another 17 years,” said Heather.

To assist visit https://www.backabuddy.co.za/champion/project/lireko-ncube-5763691022469879414 or phone 011 609 5206.

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