Fighting Crime on the Streets and Cancer Behind Doors: SAPS Officer & Single Mum Shares Breast Cancer Journey

Fighting Crime on the Streets and Cancer Behind Doors: SAPS Officer & Single Mum Shares Breast Cancer Journey

  • Cleopatra Leoschut experienced a rude awakening after discovering 3 lumps on her breast and being diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer
  • The single mother spoke to Briefly News about the pain and difficulty she endured at the beginning of her journey to where she is now
  • The dedicated police constable shared that although her life took an unexpected path, she still finds purpose in helping those in need

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Single mother and police constable in the crime prevention unit from Robertson in the Western Cape, Cleopatra Leoschut would give the shirt off her back to help someone in need.

Like something out of a dramatic movie scene, in October 2020, Cleo’s life came to a grinding halt, when she found 3 lumps on her breast and was soon after diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer.

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SAPS officer & Single Mum Cleopatra Leoschut
Cleopatra Leoschut, 37, was diagnosed wth stage 2 breast cancer and had to get her mind right to put up a good fight against it. Image: Supplied.
Source: UGC

In an exclusive interview with Briefly News, she shared how she overcame the dark place of accepting her diagnosis and moving on to a positive mindset while raising her son.

Cleo comes to terms with her new reality

Cleo admits that she never thought that she would get cancer.

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She shared that she still remembers the day as if it was yesterday when she received her biopsy results. Cleo went into detail about how she researched her doctor ahead of attending her appointment with him and called his office when the receptionist explained that the doctor would explain everything to her concerning her health.

Cleo said that she immediately knew something was wrong. Her doctor confirmed she had breast cancer and Cleo couldn’t help but break down in tears.

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“I remember feeling as if I received a death sentence. I remember asking God why me.
“You always hear about this stuff but never expect it to happen to you. It took a while for me to accept. I used to cry a lot but not in front of my son and I kept asking God why did this happen to me,” shared Cleo.

Not one to back down or give up, Cleo went into combat mode to fight her devastating diagnosis.

Undergoing medical procedures and drawing strength from her son

“One day I felt really sad when I noticed that my hair is starting to fall out, then out of the blue my son, Liam came to me, and gave me a hug and said 'Eks baie lief vir mammie'.
“He hugged me so tightly as if he's never going to let go of me and that’s when I decided that I need to get my mind right and fight back.”

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The single mom admits that was a turning point in her journey and decided to pull herself together.

SAPS officer & Single Mum
Single mother, Cleopatra Leoschut draws strength to keep going from her loving son, Liam. Image: Supplied.
Source: UGC
“I started my first chemo session on the 9th of December 2020 at Cape Gate Oncology. I felt so alone during that time because of Covid19, I couldn’t take someone with me. I had to do it alone.

The 37-year-old woman said that during her intense medical procedures, she struggled to enjoy or even keep food down.

“I mostly draw my strength from Liam. I’m a single parent and I couldn’t imagine my son growing up without me. I also had a strong support system of my family who supported me.”

On 12 August 2022, Cleo underwent a skin graft procedure, to repair her damaged tissue after the months of radiation therapy she endured.

Cleo's crowdfunding campaign

Her dear friend Michelle Brown has been by her side during this journey. Knowing that Cleo would be unable to cover the shortfall of the skin graft procedure, costing about R11 000, has launched a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy, to allow Cleo to recover without additional financial stress.

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“With the current economic climate, Cleo and her son live with her parents, and this is money she just doesn’t have. I want nothing more than for my friend to focus on her health and put this traumatic experience behind her,” said Michelle.

Cleo has a heart for people

“I like helping other people. It’s like their needs come before mine. That’s why I am sharing my story because there are so many people going through the same challenge that don’t speak out or talk about it. If one person is touched by my story I’ve reached my goal.”

The inspiring woman said her biggest eye-opener has been that life can change in a split second and that it is important to never take anything for granted.

Support Cleo’s campaign on BackaBuddy:

Domestic worker, single mom reflects on Unisa graduation after personal struggles

In another story, Briefly News reported that it takes a lot of hard work to obtain a degree, and completing an academic qualification while being a doting mother and working full-time as a cleaner is an absolutely fantastic achievement.

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Mponegele Jane Thole is a single parent who is employed as a domestic worker in Centurion, Gauteng. The mom-of-four is incredibly inspiring and recently obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Health Sciences and Social Services degree from the University of South Africa (Unisa).

With this degree, the perseverant mother can work as an industrial psychologist in professional/corporate settings after obtaining her honours qualification.

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Source: Briefly News

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