OneFm’s Ian Ward battles second cancer

Ian Ward with his son Tristan and fiance Stacey Robertson.

Table View-based non-profit TLC is calling on charities, schools and churches to help raise funds for OneFM’s Ian Ward’s cancer treatment.

OneFM first went on air in 2015, and at the centre of it all is its founder, Ian, who has used the radio station to support various charities in the community.

Five years ago, Ian was diagnosed with Stage-4 colon cancer. After surgery and extensive chemotherapy, he was out of the woods.

But last month, Ian and his fiancée, Stacey Robertson, faced some bad news.

Ian had gone for a routine check-up at Tygerberg Hospital, and after a biopsy, the doctor “laid the cards out on the table”. Ian’s cancer had returned. This time it was non small cell Stage-3B lung cancer.

“I have a 4cm tumour growing between my heart and my right lung,” says Ian.

The doctor painted a grim picture, pointing out that it was “quite aggressive” and not good for people his age.

But Ian has refused to see his diagnosis as a death sentence. He has changed his diet and researched various vitamins that help to fight cancer.

Also open to alternative treatments, Ian is exploring immunotherapy, which relies on boosting the body’s natural defences to fight cancer.

There’s always a reason to fight, says Ian, whose son, Tristan, is only 8, and Ian wants to be there for his matric ball and wedding.

“Family is a reason to succeed. They are a reason to fight, and you need someone in your corner to say you got this. For me that’s Stacey.”

Since his diagnosis, he says, he has been swamped by people wanting to tell him about relatives who have died of cancer, and Stacey has been asked why she is not crying after such bad news.

But Ian says he refuses to give into a sense of impending doom and tries to steer clear of any negativity.

“One man successfully beat the terminal illness 11 years ago, and he shared his story with me. It made me feel very confident,” says Ian.

He doesn’t have medical aid and is going for chemotherapy at Tygerberg Hospital. He estimates the initial costs of chemotherapy and radiation being about R150 000.

His friend, Candace Orme, has set up a BackaBuddy fund to ease the medical-bills burden, and the campaign, which went live on October 28, has already raised more than R25 000.

Colleen Petersen, from TLC, has also appealed to the community to raise money for Ian.

“I want to urge all NGOs, schools and churches to stand together in unity and support Mr Ward and his family. Instead of buying Christmas gifts this year, give the money towards his treatment.

“Here’s a man that has made such a big difference in his community. He’s always promoting everything for free on his station and is always there to lend a helping hand.”

To donate towards Ian’s medical expenses, go to https://www.backabuddy.co.za/ians-cancer-treatment