PEOPLE OF THE POINT: GERHARD ERASMUS
Meet this months People of the Point, Gerhard Erasmus. He has been part of Edit Microsystems for 6 ½ years and introduces blind people and people with low vision to technology and assistive devices to aid them with everyday life. He is also blind and makes extensive use of their technology. In South Africa, only 3% of blind people are employed and he is one of them.
What is your favourite part of your job?
I enjoy the training and support component most. It is very rewarding to know that unnecessary hurdles are removed by technology and services that is on offer. Having the opportunity to share my knowledge and the uniqueness of these devices with other blind and low vision persons all over Africa is a privilege.
Tell us something interesting about yourself
I attended Pioneer School for the Blind in Worcester. With the use of technology and the skills I acquired I was able to attend Tygerberg High School from the age of 16. I graduated from this mainstream school in 1999. Technology and assistive devices opened doors and introduced me to new opportunities. Today I use various cutting-edge solutions, including a Braille tablet and screen reading software to access online information sources. I read and write e-mails; surf the web and can perform most tasks my peers are able to perform on a computer.
I also make use of public transport between Durbanville and Sea Point. I am one of the first people to arrive at work and pride myself to always know of the latest developments.
What is your favourite hobby/ thing to do and why?
I love playing my guitar. I might not be good, but I do find it very relaxing. My wife is also teaching me how to bake. I enjoy the time we spend together in the kitchen; learning a new skill.
What is the coolest/ scariest/ craziest thing you have ever done?
Put money in Bitcoin.
Would you rather always be 10 minutes late or always be 20 minutes early?
I would prefer to be 20 minutes early and therefore start my journeys early too. I hate being rushed. Very few things in life are as important as they might seem. There is no reason to rush.
Would you rather be able to teleport anywhere or be able to read minds?
Well, since I’m blind, I’d have to vote for teleportation since self-driving cars aren’t developing fast enough! Mind reading would come in handy when I try to sell a product to a client. It will be good to know if I’m wasting somebody’s time when I am busy with a sales call.
Pizza, I’m not a wood-fire snob and therefore love all pizzas. I would eat it every day if I could.
Favourite movie/ TV show?
TV Show: Scrubs. It is the greatest television depiction of friendship of all time.
Movie: Casino or anything about the Mob. Casino’s only crime was that it was released after Goodfellas.
Favourite place to visit/ go on holiday?
Anywhere where my wife is.
Tulips. I like the shape and the texture of the leaves.
That’s all from Gerhard, have a great Movember and remember to enter this months competition, we would love to see your moustaches!
If you want to see someone specific as our next People Of The Point click here to nominate them.
Until next time, keep cool and remember that every drop counts!
The Point Team x
BREAST CANCER AWARENESS
As we approach October, the month internationally acclaimed as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the question arises “Is the hype surrounding routine mammography justified?”
Let us look at the facts:
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide
- World Health Organization-International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO/IARC) reports increasing breast cancer trends worldwide
- breast cancer accounts for 1 in 10 new cancers overall and 23% of new female cancers
- 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime (Black South African women have a slightly lower incidence)
- From 35 – 65 years there is a 6-fold increase in the incidence of breast cancer
- Family history:
- young first-degree relative: 1 relative risk is doubled; 2 relatives 5x risk
- genetic: BRCA1 gene positive: lifetime risk 55%-65%; BRCA2 gene positive: lifetime risk 45%
As such early diagnosis means a potential cure. Late diagnosis results in potentially significant morbidity & mortality.
It is clear that the aim must be an early diagnosis and this is achievable by breast surveillance.
What is breast surveillance?
- Breast self-examination (monthly self-examination of breasts utilising a standard technique)
- Clinical breast examination (annual breast examination by a health care professional)
- Breast imaging
- Mammogram: best population-based method currently available. It should be noted that mammography will not detect all cancers
- Mammogram & ultrasound: probably higher sensitivity than mammogram alone
- Mammogram & tomosynthesis: tomosynthesis (also known as 3D mammography) is the new “buzzword” in breast imaging. Better sensitivity than mammography alone. Likely to become gold standard
- Ultrasound: poor sensitivity & specificity but useful as adjunct to mammogram & for young breasts with a low index of suspicion
- MRI: highest sensitivity of all modalities. Reserved for specific situations. This is related to cost, availability and required expertise. Generally reserved for high-risk group or where there are indeterminate findings on a mammogram.
In attempting to achieve early diagnosis it is not one of the above methods of surveillance but all three appropriately applied. At Bergman Ross and Partners Radiologists, we routinely include tomosynthesis and ultrasound with all mammograms
The current recommendation for breast imaging in South Africa:
(1) Screening mammography (to find disease prior to symptoms):
- annually all women >40 years and <70 years (unless higher than average risk)
- women >70 years can elect to have screening mammography.
- higher than average risk
(i) if family history: commence imaging at 5 yrs prior to the age that first-degree relative diagnosed if less than 40 yrs & at 40 yrs otherwise
(ii) annually in conjunction with MRI
(2) Diagnostic mammography:
- at time of suspicion/symptoms if >35yrs
A number of factors discourage women from having screening mammography. Amongst these are:
Mammograms being painful: with the advent of ergonomic improvements in mammography units and improved imaging techniques this factor is far less of a problem.
Radiation-induced cancer: although it is true that excessive radiation may induce cancer, the risk of the latter is far outweighed by the benefit of early detection of breast cancer. This is borne out by scientific research. In addition, state-of-the-art mammography units deliver far less radiation dose than those of previous eras.
Women should pay attention to their monthly cycle when booking mammograms, as certain times of the month will be uncomfortable when compressing the breast tissue.
There is a constant search for more acceptable methods of breast imaging with greater sensitivity & no or less radiation risk. A number of modalities are available, including thermography, electrical impedance, optical imaging, nuclear imaging, positron emission tomography. NONE OF THESE LISTED HAVE BEEN SHOWN TO COME ANYWHERE CLOSE TO MAMMOGRAPHY IN DIAGNOSTIC ABILITY. A negative result in these less sensitive methods may lull the patient into a false sense of security.
In summary, the risk of a woman developing breast cancer in her lifetime is sufficiently significant to warrant a greater awareness and to encourage the appropriate surveillance.
We provide mammogram services at:
N1 City Hospital 021 5951370
Kuils River Hospital 021 9006600
Sea Point. Suite 306 3rd Floor, The Point Centre. 76 Regent Road Phone 021 110 5777
*Copy supplied by Berman Ross & partners
People of The Point: Gali Gaon Segall
Meet the July recipient of the People of The Point Award. She’s the entrepreneur behind the sensational Yemaya brand, a fierce businesswoman and a doting mother of two, Gali Segall.
Here we talk inspiration, what she loves most and how Yemaya began.
Please introduce yourself.
I am a mum, wife, and entrepreneur extraordinaire. I have a passion for living life to the fullest and inspiring others to be their best.
How did you get into the beauty industry?
I was a Spa Manager and therapist, I fell in love with the joy I could bring to others in the beauty industry. Since then, I founded my own companies in the beauty industry and I’ve never looked back.
What is your favourite part of your job?
Innovation and challenging the team and the business to constantly refresh and revive the nature of the beauty industry.
You’re a wife, a working woman and a mom, tell us more about your family?
My family are my life, they are all part of the business in some way. My husband is also my business partner and pillar of strength, my three children understand the sacrifices we make and love us all the same for it. It’s difficult to maintain a work-life balance when you have 12 businesses, but I can keep going with the support of my family and my employees.
What is your favourite thing to do with your family?
We enjoy a variety of activities and building projects together, both indoors and outdoors. The most precious moments are the ones with love and laughter shared. I always take a moment wherever possible to keep that alive throughout the day.
Where have you travelled recently?
I have recently been to Israel and Canada, previously to Italy. I travel extensively between Gauteng and KZN to maintain my businesses, however, my travels abroad are both holiday and work as I need to keep myself inspired to keep offering the best I can.
Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I am extremely shy, I love to cook, and I am also addicted to Bootlegger’s green juice.
What is the biggest misconception about you?
Probably that I am Psychic.
Do you have any words of wisdom?
Believe in yourself and never be afraid to work hard.
Well, there you have it, folks! Next time you’re at The Point, why not pop into Yemaya on the 2nd floor and meet the brains (and beauty) behind it all.
Till next month,
The Point Team x
OUR TOP 5 HIKING SPOTS IN CAPE TOWN
If the inner-city hustle and bustle is getting too much for you or you simply need to disconnect from reality for a bit, there really is nothing more rejuvenating than a hike in mother nature.
Thankfully Cape Town is home to many wonderful hiking trails. In this post, we are going to share our Top 5 with you.
We had to start off with the most iconic route.
Day and night people stream up and down this popular hike which offers the most magnificent views of the city. Everyone should do this at least once, preferably on a day with clear skies to allow you a view of Robbin Island.
DURATION: +- 1 ½ hours
THE PIPE TRACK
This walk starts at the junction of Tafelberg Road and Kloof Nek. The Pipe Track is precisely what it says: a path constructed to service a pipeline running below the series of peaks known as the Twelve Apostles. In several places, the path is very stony, but it is an easily accessible and popular walk, with many locals making regular use of certain sections.
This route is best enjoyed early on summer mornings and especially during winter when many of its protea species are in bloom.
DURATION: +- 4 ½ hours
Another relatively easy route and part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, Crystal Pools offers hikers breathtaking views as well as swimming spots to cool down in.
Pre-booking is advised, permits are R65 per person, and gate times are from sunrise to sunset.
DURATION: 2-4 hours
The dog-friendly and relatively shaded trails are great for the family. There are numerous tracks to choose from including sights like the ruins of Lady Anne Barnard’s cottage and Rhodes Memorial.
With great picnic spots on offer as well as the Rhodes Memorial Restuarant, an early morning hike with a spot of brunch or lunch makes for the perfect day out!
DURATION: 3 hours
OLIFANTSBOS SHIPWRECK TRAIL
At the risk of repeating ourselves, this is another easy hike for the whole family.
The Thomas T. Tucker Shipwreck Trail will have you following the yellow flagged markers along the trail down to the beach. With this amazing sea view and wildlife galore, it’s not only a fun day out but educational too!
DURATION: 1 ½ hours
Some hiking tips to remember…
What to wear:
- comfortable, breathable clothing
- hat and sunscreen
- hiking shoes
What to pack:
- snacks/ lunch
- lots of liquids/ water
- swimming costume
- extra socks
- warm top
Rules for Personal Security:
- Do not attract unwanted attention by openly displaying cash, cameras or other valuables.
- If you are confronted by a criminal, don’t resist. Handover your goods as resistance might incite a mugger to violence.
- Program emergency numbers in your cell phone before your hike.
Of course, there are plenty of other hikes to enjoy but why not get started on one of these, this weekend? Just grab your mates, pack your kit and off you go.
The Point Team x