An ordinary blind woman

 with extraordinary vision.

Janine is happily married to Jomar and is the mom to two beautiful boys, Brendan and Duan. As a child Janine grew up fully sighted, with no health challenges. Life was uncomplicated and she enjoyed life to the fullest with excellent achievements in academics, sport, culture and music. She also enjoyed an active social life. She was a happy and content child.

Six years of fulltime studies in Social Work at the NWU Potchefstroom was the beginning of Janine’s journey in becoming professionally qualified to be able to help others. It has been her life-long passion to serve people.

While busy with her Master’s Degree in Social Work, Janine lost her eyesight at the age of 23. Going from fully sighted to completely blind in only one month. Together with the blindness, Janine became very ill physically, causing her to lose so much more than just her sight. Only 15 years later she was diagnosed with a very rare auto immune disease, NMO (Neuro Myelitis Optica), – which was the cause of her blindness and physical health challenges. If it had not been for her angel of a husband, this diagnosis would never have been made.

Chronic, intensive treatments, countless life-changing operations and hospital visits became part of this family’s lives. 24/7 oxygen was one of the challenges that Janine and her family had to face daily for 3½ years.

Despite these difficult circumstances, the family never lost their sense of humour. Janine’s husband and two boys are extremely understanding and her number one support system. Angels in the form of other family and friends, were always a further reliable support system. Janine has tremendous gratitude for every person who has and is supporting her. This would never have been possible without the grace of God.

During all the hardships, Janine never relinquished her role as a good mother. After 4 miscarriages, these two boys have always been the driving force behind Janine’s courage in her fight against serious illness. She has never been open to the idea of giving up or being unhappy for the rest of her life. Together with her husband, Janine raised two balanced boys who have been enabled to function normally in abnormal circumstances.
Janine was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 44. She also tested positive for the BRCA 2 gene mutation. She has already lost numerous family members to this cancer including her only sister and her mom. Janine’s sister died at the age of 43 after fighting breast cancer for 6 years, leaving two beautiful children behind. These children are welcomed into their home as part of the family.

In 2020, Janine launched the Geloof, Hoop en Liefde Breast cancer project, with the aim of giving hope and inspiration to breast cancer patients. This project is sustainable and does fundraising in aid of those struggling with this disease. God’s grace towards this project is visible and amazing!

Janine has been a Social Worker in Private Practice in Vaalpark (Vaal Triangle) for the past 18 years. Despite medical challenges, major operations and daily physical pain and discomfort, she manages this Practice successfully and counsels as her health allows. It is a passion for Janine and her colleagues to do trauma counselling, counselling and play therapy in the Practice. This gives hope to adults and children alike as they deal with different emotional challenges.