Stronger Every Day: Octavia’s Story

Last year, 48-year-old Octavia Mvundla’s life changed when she was diagnosed with Diabetes after attending CAST’s first round of health screenings in KwaDabeka during October. These were conducted to raise awareness about the disease among people in the communities. At the time of testing, her blood sugar level was dangerously high at 28 mmol/L, way above the healthy range of 4 – 9mmol/L. 

This finally explained her chronic lethargy, blurry vision and drastic 15kg weight loss over the past few years for which she had been merely self-medicating with painkillers.

Since then, her blood sugar levels have gradually dropped to a healthy level of 4,7mmol/L. Her struggle now is having to eat regularly to maintain this. Because of her lack of finances, the family would normally have one meal in the morning to last for the day, only to eat again at suppertime. Octavia is currently receiving a monthly food parcel, which has helped to supplement her diet.

To alleviate her family’s financial struggle, Octavia is generating some income through selling clothing donated to CAST, and has since opened a Savings Account to bank her profit. Though not enough to support the family, this little bit of extra income has enabled her to join the Savings Club facilitated by CAST as part of our Local Economic Development programme.

When asked about her hopes for the future, Octavia simply wants to “ask God for more energy, focus and strength in Him to fulfil [her] dreams.” With the right training and equipment, Octavia is keen to learn how to do needlework. If you are able to assist, please contact the CAST Head of Relief Services, Sandy Reid, on +27 31 266 8830 or e-mail: sandy@cast.org.za.

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