Valiant Swart’s wife, Lanelle (51), who is also his agent, have been struggling with her health since undergoing cancer surgery two years ago. She has been diagnosed with lymphedema in her right leg, which can possibly spread to her left leg too.
“Lanelle is an iron woman and a super-mom for our children,” says Valiant Swart. He says that she has led an active lifestyle all her life and that she was the one holding the fort when he had to be on the road. “Lymphedema has changed her everyday existence considerably.”
Lanelle’s future plans have been thrown into disarray with the condition, which is due to worsen with time. Pain, discomfort, harsh treatments, and exercise, as well as a strong diet have become her new normal and long road trips – a necessity in Valiant Swart’s occupation as an artist – have become unpleasant and tiring.
According to the singer, his wife must wear uncomfortable compression socks daily to prevent her legs from swelling and the condition getting worse. She must also do special exercises daily (without exception) to prevent swelling, pain and complications and despite her disciplined diet and exercise programme, she still experiences pain and discomfort constantly.
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The couple has since come across an overseas micro-surgical procedure for the treatment of lymphedema, but there are only a few institutions and surgeons who specialise in the procedure. They have, however, identified a highly acclaimed specialist in Cleveland, Ohio, who wants to operate on Lanelle early this year.
“Lymphedema affects all aspects of my life,” says Lanelle. “Apart from chronic swelling, pain and discomfort it also has an effect on my immune system, and it could lead to life threatening bacterial infections. The worst for me is the fear of losing my mobility.”
The operation, which creates an alternative draining route for the lymph, could give Lanelle’s body a chance to function normally again.
To raise funds for the surgery, the couple have collaborated with WOES to host two auctions – one in the Cape and the other in Gauteng. The auctions will be live and will also be streamed online to allow for a bigger audience.
People will be able to bid on performances by famous artists, but also on valuable Valiant Swart memorabilia including Jinx’s (his character in Song vir Katryn) guitars, a limited amount of new electric guitars, handwritten and framed lyrics of songs like Songvanger, Die Mystic Boer, Eyeshadow and Duisend Myl Blues, the last couple of bottles of Mystic Boer brandy, signed photos, artwork and more.
They will also be raising funds through ad space on WOES’ online auction page, donations and raffle sales on items like a holiday, a hunting weekend, a golf package, a spa breakaway, a fishing expedition, wine, meat, cosmetic treatments and more.
The Gauteng-based auction will take place on 27 January 2022 at the Blue Crane Restaurant in Pretoria. Get your tickets from Tixsa.