First Lady, Think Pink remember Blandina with fundraiser

The late Blandina Khondowe

The First Lady Monica Chakwera, Mary Chilima, and other well-wishers joined a fundraising drive for the late Blandina Khondowe's Think Pink movement against cancer.

Khondowe gallantly and fearlessly fought the disease but sadly lost the battle against breast cancer in November 2020.

Born on 12th October 1980 and married to Christopher with two children, she was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 at the age of 32.

To many, the late Miss Malawi fought a good fight against all odds but in May 2020, the disease had returned and spread to her brain and family members and well-wishers were on their knees praying for her recovery, but in November last year, she passed on.

Her mother Elizabeth Mlenga who spoke passionately about her daughter at the fundraising dinner in Lilongwe said when they went to India for specialised treatment in 2018, Blandina considered herself privileged to get referral treatment which is not the case with most cancer patients.

She disclosed that it was her late daughter’s wish that the masses be made aware of their cancer status at an early stage.

Blandina's mother Elizabeth Mlenga (In pink dress) captured at the event with Health Minister Khumbize Chiponda 

Mlenga disclosed that it is the family’s hope that various organisations will continue with the good work she started so that her legacy is carried forward.

One of her close friends and a co-Founder of Think Pink Eleanor Nkosi, expressed gratitude to those who graced the occasion in honour of the late Blandina.

She described the late cancer activist as a fierce warrior of the disease even though she knew she was dying.

Nkosi praised Blandina for the positive energy about Malawi in her roles as tourism Ambassador and Miss Malawi stating she exuded the best example of living life to the fullest.

The First Lady Monica with Mary Chilima. Pictures by Lisa Kadango MANA

She pointed out that breast cancer is not a death sentence because it is curable and spoke on the need to celebrate her life by continuing to raise awareness on the disease.

The organization was established in 2014 by Blandina with a focus on educating the public on breast cancer awareness, early detection and getting appropriate treatment.

Taking her turn Monica Chakwera, hailed the awareness Blandina embarked on which she noted was done with passion.

Think Pink Co-Founder Nkosi (in a black dress) demonstrating breast examination techniques 

She stressed on the need for others to emulate the example in spreading the message especially in the rural areas

Chakwera called on the need to invest in comprehensive cancer care and screening services and a strong movement to create awareness for women to get screening and diagnostic services.

She indicated that if detected early, about 70-80 percent of the cancers can be cured.

The first Lady gave a K1 million boost towards the cause while Mary Chilima donated K750,000 and MHUB K2 million.