Her name is Jade, which is a name that fits her well because, in her attitude to life, she seems to sparkle like a jewel, despite hardships she has endured — and is still enduring.
Jade Wyngaardt is the owner and founder of Click Africa Digital – an online marketing agency – which she runs with her husband George in Woodstock, Cape Town.
But two years ago, at age 27 and with two children in tow, she found a lump in her left breast. She put off seeing the doctor for two months, despite guessing what it was. The same day as her appointment, she received the dreaded confirmation with a biopsy: it was cancer.
Jade chose to have a double mastectomy as a precaution, but before surgery, she had a strange but familiar feeling. Yes, she was pregnant.
The cancer was abnormal and hormone sensitive. And being pregnant put her and her unborn child’s life at risk, so – given the best medical advice – she felt she had no choice but to terminate.
On the day of her operation, though, she was alone in the lobby late in the day waiting to go into theatre, in torment about what was about to happen. She cried out to God to help her. Then, as she was rolled into surgery for her double mastectomy and termination, her doctor told her they had run out of OR (operating) time and could only remove her affected left breast.
Little did she know then, but her prayer was being answered. A few days later, she went again to terminate. But the sonographer informed her that she was in fact pregnant with twins.
“They showed me the sonar scan. And I was like: ‘Oh wow, oh my goodness – two little heartbeats!’ I knew then I could no longer go through with my decision to terminate. I was so ready to fight for the twins.
“And my husband George had always wanted twins! Before all this happened I had drifted far away from God, but now what I was going through galvanised me spiritually and I grew close to Him again.
“I realised that God was with me on this journey, and that he had intervened to make sure only one breast was removed so I could keep the other one to feed my babies.”
She was encouraged by the head of the termination clinic. “Her name was Joy which, when I look back, was so appropriate because she would play an important part in bringing us the joy of having two healthy twins. She was wonderful and assured me that there was a good chance that all could go well with the pregnancy and that she would ensure extra care and extra monitoring would be in place all along.”
It wasn’t easy for Jade though. She had to fight through the depression, pain and the ongoing treatment.
“With one breast, I was like, ‘What monster is this?’” she said of her body. “I didn’t appreciate my body for what it was doing for me, fighting cancer and carrying twins.”
But towards the end of her pregnancy she felt God intervening again. “I was prompted in the Spirit to not have my last two chemo’s. I wanted my body to be as poison-free as possible for the births. And I wanted them to be born naturally.”
And they were born naturally, Judah and Kenya Wyngaardt emerging into this world full of health and vitality albeit a couple of weeks premature.
Two years down the line these two little ones are, as Jade laughs deliciously: “Little balls of energy – little voices all the time. So wonderful.” And with George and Jade’s other children, Kairo ,4 and Israel, 3 still very young, it – as Jade puts it – “gets pretty hectic at home. George’s mom, Nicky, lives nearby and helps out a lot which we are very grateful for.”
But now Jade is going through challenging times again. Cancer has spread to other parts of her body.
“Yes, there are negatives – there always is with cancer. But there are also positives. I take a high dosage of THC oil and the tumours are shrinking. I’ve also made some important lifestyle changes to keep me healthy. I’ve just had a CT scan and am waiting for the results to see how far things have gone. But I’m coping and tackling the challenges I need to make.”
Jade is staying positive and keeping her faith but she needs all our prayers – prayers for a long and healthy life with her husband and children. Jade, of course, is a semi-precious stone. But Jade Wyngaardt isn’t just semi-precious. She’s full-on precious.