We are so happy to announce that to support the ECCT patients and their families in 2015, we have several global events lined up. One of the first of these fundraising events will involve 2 amazing Zimbabwean based women – RuTendo DeNise and Lorraine Rubaba who are participating in the Victoria Falls Marathon, Zimbabwe on 28 June 2015. Both of these ladies will be running in the half marathon which is a whopping total of 21km.
We need to tell you more about these 2 ladies before we go over to them to hear more about their amazing journey and big hearts for the health of the Zimbabwean nation. Both ladies participate in a Fitness Bootcamp in the suburb of Greendale in the city of Harare.
RuTendo DeNise (.R.) is a Zimbabwean Performance Poet, Writer and Full Figure Model (image above). You can visit her Fan Page by clicking here now.
Lorraine Rubaba – is a Co-Founder of the Bootcamp and the Greendale Team Bootcamp Captain (see above). Having thought of the idea to have a bootcamp in the area – Lorraine sought out the services of the fitness trainer who assists the ladies – Coach Thompson.
The Elizabeth Chanakira Cancer Trust patients are just some of the people she’s doing this run in honour of.
Now that we have introduced these ladies – we will go over to them.
Ladies thank you so much for what you are doing. 21km is a big (and dare we say – ‘long’ deal)! What inspired you to run the half marathon on 28 June 2015?
The need to have an internationally acclaimed record my passion for fitness. I wanted an official record that I could look back on and be proud of one day and even show my kids thus challenge them to a healthy lifestyle.
Participating and completing a half marathon and full marathon have been on my bucket list for the longest time. This year, I made a commitment to myself to see through all the fitness and health aspirations I’ve done either half heartedly/ without planning/ or given up on over the years. Completing the half marathon will be a celebration of my commitment to health and because I believe if you can, everyone should attempt at least one half or full marathon in their life!
Lorraine, we are sorry to hear of the loss of your dear mother due to diabetes in 2005. Please tell us more about how you then positively used what happened to influence future generations in your very own neighbourhood.
Grief is a terrible thing that only one that has gone through it can understand. When I lost my mother – technically it felt and still feels like so many rugs were pulled from beneath my feet The emotional support, the financial support, the list is endless. However in short it made me realise how fragile life is and has taught me to celebrate seemingly small things like a sunny morning, the sound of birds singing and even birthdays as they signify a grace denied to many a life.
I look back at her lifestyle and realise that maybe if she had found time in her hectic schedule to attend the gym, run or walk often – maybe she could have avoided high blood pressure problems or controlled the illness better It is now my passion to encourage mostly black women to control their health through various fitness levels as our history is generally not big on fitness programmes. They are generally considered to be for the elite and a waste of time. So if I can make a few women happier and healthier – I will have achieved something to make me smile.
Lorraine, those are very valid points that you make. Diabetes is now very common amongst the Zimbabwean population. Please tell us what people can do to help reduce the risk of diabetes.
In my opinion adopting a healthy life style which incorporates working out regularly and watching what you eat really does help and reduces the risk of diabetes.
Thank you both for making ECCT one of the causes you are running for! Why is supporting the ECCT patients something you are willing to do?
I am grateful to God for good health and realise that it’s a gift that I can never do enough to show my gratitude for. Thus helping the next person that can’t help themselves makes it a worthy enough cause for me.
Firstly, thank you for the great work you are doing with the families in Hatcliffe. There is so much more we can do collectively to support families and individuals affected by and battling with cancer. Secondly, I am supporting ECCT patients for two reasons. The first one is that it’s an initiative started by a young Zimbabwean. The future of our country and citizens is in our hands and so I like to support initiatives by “Young Zimbabwe” because if we support and endorse each other’s initiatives as we evolve, there’s hope for what we can collectively achieve and contribute to our country and people as the emerging leaders of 263.
The second reason is simple. I have a voice and influence and I chose this marathon to use my voice ( or feet rather) to lend my time, voice and spirit to the plight many families and individuals experience dealing with cancer.
There are many lifestyle diseases which we are facing in Zimbabwe such as diabetes, cancer etc. With cancer the WHO (World Health Organisation) states that most cancers are caused due to poor lifestyle choices in regards to diet, lack of exercise etc. What do you think is the biggest issue facing Zimbabweans in regards to lifestyle diseases eg lack of knowledge, stigma, expensive treatment etc?
My opinion is that in Zimbabwe with regards to lifestyle diseases it’s both a lack of adequate knowledge and poverty. This is because people do not really know the impact of some of the so called junk foods. Then those that do know, cannot always necessarily afford a healthy and balanced diet, so they resort to whatever is available regardless of the cumulative damage it causes to their bodies It becomes an issue of survival.
Cancer is currently the number 1 killer of Zimbabweans at home, even above HIV. This is confirmed by the Zimbabwe National Registry. What do you think we can do as a nation, whether we are at home or abroad, to alleviate the cancer situation in our country?
I think apart from intensifying awareness on early warning systems that help detect cancer early, we can also increase funding in the health sector so that the treatment becomes affordable to even the ordinary person on the streets.
While there are drives and initiatives throughout the country, there still are a great number of people that are inadequately informed about cancer and it’s different manifestations. Also, the cost of treatment ( particularly in instances where diagnosis is delayed) is either too expensive or unaffordable all together. It’s work in progress but more needs to, can be and will be done.
It is very important for everyone to take responsibility for their health or for the health of those who can’t or can no longer do so for themselves. Where and when you can – research and know about the different forms of cancer, know what some of the symptoms are, and discuss your family health history. This is all time consuming however, if you know one thing and discuss it amongst friends or family, you learn more everyday. Also, our dietary and lifestyle habits are things we also need to hold ourselves accountable to. Know which foods are high risk, what habits you need to wean and eventually stop altogether.
Some Zimbabwean women see fitness as a luxury and/or something they don’t have time for. What are your top 3 simple tips that Zimbabwean women can implement to make fitness a part of their lives, particularly those who have very busy lifestyles and are on a limited budget?
1. Do your exercises first thing in the morning so that you clear the day for all other activities I exercise for an hour 5 times minimum a week This allows me to do my school run comfortably and go to work.
2. If you’re on a limited budget – run or walk – which is what I do. it has become part of my spiritual devotion time too.
3. Get or make friends with another woman in your neighbourhood and run or walk together. You then become accountability partners and its easier to motivate each other.
.R. thank you for being such a champion of telling the authentic Zimbabwe story via social media. How do you think social media has played a part in the Zimbabwe cancer story?
You’re welcome! I believe everyone has an authentic story to tell about Zimbabwe, and social media has given greater visibility of not just Zimbabwe, but the different issues we are facing, experiencing and enduring as citizens and as a nation.
What role has it played in the Zimbabwe Cancer Story? Well, it has definitely given different faces and voices to the disease, it has sparked conversations, debates and increased levels of awareness. While it is difficult to measure what the virtual mileage has translated into in the forms of people being proactive in getting tested (be it a papsmear, prostrate etc) awareness levels, from a virtual perspective – have increased.
Ladies, what sort of training are you doing for the half marathon and how has it been going?
Lol – not really too much. Prior to now I had started a lot of resistance training to build up my endurance and stamina, but I have since discovered that I have an injury on my right foot, so I need to rest it in order to get through the marathon. I will get through it even if I hobble or hop along like a tortoise in a field of peanut butter lol!
I do a combination of run/jog/trot/walks two times a week. I alternate that with cardio and Zumba.
Wow you ladies are champions! What is has been the most challenging and the most enjoyable part of your preparation?
For me it has been running up the hills that I live near and that’s grueling exercise. The most enjoyable has been the adrenalin and joy I get from achieving my set goals per training session and meeting up with all the other runners.
The hardest part and most enjoyable part of my preparation was quitting smoking. That was something I have been struggling to do over the past year, so being able run without feeling like I was going to faint and collapse is a sweet victory.
I remember the first time I trained with Coach Thomson, I had a terrible nose bleed and chest pain from smoking. To me, that was my biggest challenge. I also sprained my ankle in December last year so from time to time my ankle gives me some trouble but apart from that, everything else has been enjoyable because as I heal and restore my mind, body and spirit, I am getting tremendous support from my family, friends and colleugues not just for the Victoria Falls Marathon, but for the fitness lifestyle I am determined to live for the rest of my life.
ECCT salutes these two for what they are doing and wish them the very best on 28 June 2015! To support these ladies with a donation of any amount, with proceeds going to support the ECCT patients and their families – please visit their fundraising page by clicking here.