Cape Town - For the past 20 years, Ian Ward has dedicated his life to radio, starting his career on the graveyard shift on UCT Radio and then presenting for Good Hope FM and Heart FM.
Other than his work in front of the mic, Ian also founded Clicks Live, a retail radio station operating in all Clicks stores across South Africa.
Five years ago, Ian received unsettling news that he had colon cancer, and after surgery and extensive chemotherapy, Ian beat the odds and was fortunate to be in remission. Ian continued to have blood tests and x-rays twice a year to ensure his cancer hadn’t returned.
But on a routine check-up last month, the pathology indicated a rise in Ian’s cancer markers.
Concerned, doctors sent Ian for an MRI, where they soon discovered a tumour in his heart and right lung. A bronchoscopy was then performed a week later, to reveal that Ian has non-small cell stage 3B lung cancer.
The news of Ian’s terminal diagnosis was particularly hard on Ian’s fiancée, Stacey Robertson (31) and their 8-year-old son, Tristan.
On Thursday, Ian will begin high doses of chemotherapy at Tygerberg Hospital.
Without medical aid, Ian is forced to take on a mountain of medical bills to cover the expensive cost of chemo and radiation, estimated to cost approximately R150 000.
To raise funds for Ian’s extensive cancer treatment, Candace Orme (39), a close friend of Ian’s set up a campaign for donations on crowdfunding platform, BackaBuddy, to appeal to the public to help support the radio presenter and his family during this difficult time.
The campaign went live on 28 October and has thus far raised R25 794.91 with contributions from 30 donors from across South Africa.
“I was very surprised to see a BackaBuddy campaign started by Candace, but immensely appreciative. I’m not the type of person to ask for help, I struggle to accept gifts on my birthday or on any occasion! I’m more so a giving person - always have been. It never crossed my mind to be on the receiving end of help. I was more so surprised at the response the campaign received in such a short time, and the feeling of being loved, by people I know and by strangers, is surreal. I’ve received messages from people whom I’ve never met, but has listened to me over the past two decades, offering messages of hope and encouragement, and each message has been taken to heart. I’m eternally grateful for my immediate support group at home, especially Stacey, who has stuck by me, and continues to do so, even through a second bout of cancer. You’ll never believe how many spouses leave, but Stacey has genuinely stuck it out with me. I’m not going to lie, it’s tough knowing that I have an (so called) incurable tumour, but I’m very positive, with God’s help, and the continued support of people from all over the world, that I will overcome this. I’m expecting a second miracle. ”