About Elsje Neethling

  • Cancer survivor
  • Inspirational Speaker
  • Owner : Hip-E Beads
  • Founder : I-BEAD-CANCER

ELSJE NEETHLING was diagnosed with a brain tumor, choroid plexus carcinoma, at the age of 12 years. Despite the fact that they only gave her 3 months to live, Elsje decided that nothing will ever get her down in life. Today, at the age of 33, she is an inspiration to many people through her book, her talks about her journey with cancer, her jewellery and her I-Bead-Cancer project.

Three brain operations, hours of radiation, docters telling her time and again things like death, paralysis, blindness etc. is what Elsje had to go through while other kids her age were worried about pimples or which cute guy will ask them out. For 11 years after that Elsje was in remission. In 2003 she started experiencing backpain and two months before her wedding in 2007, tests revealed that the choroid plexus tumor, which was removed from her brain 11 years ago, has started growing in her coccyx. Again her whole world was turned upside down – while other brides were busy with wedding plans and worrying about which flowers and decor they want, Elsje was fighting for her life.

In 2008, hospital rooms became home to Elsje. She spent months in hospitals and during this time, between scans and assessments, hip-e beads saw the light. Today, hip-e is a successful business. Elsje had to regularly receive radiation at the provincial hospital in Bloemfontein, where she had to sit and wait for hours, together with many others. One Friday she decided to take a bag of beads and opened it up on one of the tables in the waiting area. She started teaching the women how to use these beads and the I-Bead-Cancer project was born.

Elsje’s creativity and way with words were the recipe for success of her book Ek droom van ‘n droom which was released in 2012. The book sold more than 15 000 copies during first week after it was launched. She is currently busy with the english version of the book.

Elsje’s story is not just about her journey with cancer and how she managed to overcome it. It is an inspirational story of hope that encourages every single person to search for that silver lining in any situation.