Dr Waldemar Szpak
Clinical & Radiation Oncologist
As a young boy growing up in Communist Poland, Waldemar Szpak dreamt of travelling the world and learning about all the vibrant and unique cultures within it. Numerous geographical books and novels were absorbed as this passion grew.
Choosing to become a Doctor, meeting and marrying his wife Teresa, specialising in internal medicine in Poland, the birth of their two sons as well as three years spent living in Germany were key milestones in Dr Szpak’s formative years.
Then came the decision to emigrate to South Africa in 1992. He was intrigued with the concept of our Rainbow Nation.
“South Africa was said to be the entire world within one country”, enthuses Dr Szpak.
Fifty applications to various medical institutions in South Africa and the role of Principal Medical Officer at the Department of Medicine and CCU at Addington Hospital were secured.
The following decade was spent at the Department of Medicine at Addington Hospital and then the Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine at the University of Natal, Durban where in 2002 Dr Szpak qualified as a Fellow in the College of Medicine in Oncology.
In 2003 Dr Szpak relocated to the UK to further pursue his oncological interests at the Northern Centre for Cancer Treatment in Newcastle upon Tyne as consultant specialist in clinical oncology.
In 2004 whilst watching the Springboks playing Scotland in Durban before the Rugby World Cup Tournament, Dr Szpak heard the crowd singing the proudly South African Hymn, Nkosi Sikelel’ iAfrika / Die Stem, it was then that he realised that he too was now a part of this amazing Rainbow Nation.
South Africa was calling so he returned to Durban to join Amanzimtoti Oncology Services that were gradually converted to RAINBOW ONCOLOGY.
When not applying his time to Rainbow Oncology and his patients, Dr Szpak devotes his remaining time to his wife of almost 40 years, their three cats, bonsais and mountain bike riding. He is also a proud grandfather of two beautiful grandchildren.
Dr Szpak is a man filled with passion, determination and he has the epitome of wicked sense of humour. He is an active member of the South African Oncology Consortium and held the position of Chairman from 2010 to 2015.
Dr Teresa Burmecha-Szpak
Clinical Oncology Assistant
Teresa joined Dr Szpak in assisting the practice in 2019.
She has extensive medical experience and run a successful Medical practice for many years before joining Rainbow Oncology.
When time allows, Teresa loves spending time with her family and grandchildren who are spread across the globe.
Dr Lashistha Parthab
Clinical Oncology Assistant & Palliative Care
Lashistha obtained her medical degree from the University of KZN in 2011 and joined Rainbow Oncology in 2019, with a background of invaluable experience in Psychiatry and HIV Research. She has a special interest and passion in the area of palliative medicine and has completed a Diploma in Palliative Medicine through the University of Cape Town in 2020, and is continuing her journey in this field by doing a Master of Philosophy in Palliative Medicine in 2021.
“We value our patients and appreciate the impact that a cancer diagnosis can have on our patients and their families. At Rainbow Oncology, our aim is to improve the quality of life for both our patients and their families through comprehensive palliative care. This involves supporting the needs of patients and families, and providing relief from pain and other unpleasant physical and psychosocial symptoms, is applicable to any patient diagnosed with serious illness regardless of age or the stage of disease, and is offered alongside the cancer treatment.”
Dr Nicola Bodley
Clinical Research and Oncology Assistant
Nicola started her career in the medical field after graduating from the University of Witwatersrand in 2008 as a physiotherapist. After three years working as a physiotherapist, Nicola desired to be able to do more for her patients and went on to obtain a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery in 2015. Since qualifying as a medical doctor, Nicola spent time working in orthopaedic surgery and anaesthetics and went on to obtain a post graduate diploma in anaesthesiology through the college of Medicine South Africa. Nicola then spent two years gaining experience in the clinical trials field, working in HIV vaccine research until she realised her true passion in medicine, Oncology. Nicola joined Rainbow Oncology in 2023 in pursuit of her goal to specialise in Radiation Oncology as well as to use her experience in clinical trials to help improve access to novel treatments in the management of cancer. Nicola is married and is the mom to an energetic little boy. Nicola has a passion for open water swimming and is a keen body surfer at Durban Surf Life Saving Club.
Our staff are well trained and experienced in the administration of chemotherapy. They are dedicated to ensuring you receive your chemotherapy safely and comfortably. Before each chemotherapy session, they will ensure that you are ready for the treatment. They will consult with the doctor if there are problems that need to be addressed. The chemotherapy staff is an invaluable source of practical information on the management of challenges and side effects that you might experience during your time with us.
Registered Nurse (Diploma in Oncology)
An accomplished Oncology Nurse who has been with Rainbow Oncology since 2013, Trudi is a team player who brings an incredible vibrancy to the Amanzimtoti Centre.
Trudi loves to nurture and encourage, and for this reason, Rainbow Oncology is the perfect place for her. She loves the team mentality and sense of family that one experiences the minute they walk in the door.
Trudi is a married mom to 3 beautiful children who dreams of shopping and cocktails on the beach in her spare time!
Nancy loves cooking, all crafts, scrapbooking and gardening when she is not rushing around after her baby daughter who has been adopted as the Rainbow Oncology baby after Nancys’ 12 year wait for her arrival!
Sandra is a Staff Nurse by profession after having studied at Netcare Education.
She always aims to be modest, passionate, devoted, hardworking with very strong family values. I have learned from my parents the value of time, honesty, hard work, love and commitment to the purpose. Learning new things is something I enjoy. I love socializing, eating good food and letting my hair down.
Nursing has taught me to value life, to respect it and to be compassionate to people
Practice Manager Amanzimtoti
Susan is a wonderful softly spoken and gentle lady who is mom to twin daughters and granny to 2 grandchildren. She loves listening to music of all kinds and walking.
Susan joined Rainbow Oncology in 2016 and thoroughly enjoys the family oriented nature of the practice.
Motivations Manager and Trials Co-ordinator Amanzimtoti
You won’t catch this adrenalin junkie indoors for a second longer than necessary.
Rita has worked her way from Reception to trials and motivations over the past decade and she attributes her love of Rainbow Oncology to the amazing dedication shown by Dr Szpak. “He is the reason I am here” she says. She loves the exposure and education that she receives being involved in all sorts of new Oncological developments and trials.
Rita is mom to an adult daughter.
Reception at Parklands
I am a peoples person with love & passion to interact with especially the senior citizens. A mom to an only son and a grandma to an only grandson. I am a dedicated Christ worshipper and loves travelling.
Administration at Amanzimtoti
A new recruit to Rainbow Oncology, Cynthia joined the Parklands practice in 2017 and has a heart of gold.
She is very involved in community work in the Kwandengezi township and loves to sing! She is proudly a part of her church choir and is a married mother of 1.
Accounts at Amanzimtoti
Joining the now closed Isipingo practice more than 4 years ago, Shivona enjoys working with the rest of the busy Toti reception team. A mom to a young son, Shivona also enjoys cooking.
Recently joined Rainbow Oncology, I have 5 years in the medical field.
I enjoy baking and spending time with my family.
Receptionist at Ballito
I love cooking and eating good food. I enjoy dancing and having fun with family and friends.
I’m excited to be apart of the Rainbow Oncology family. And I look forward to growing with your. I strongly believe that anything is possible if you put in the hard work and passion.
General Assistant at Amanzimtoti
Nora also brings with her a huge smile and funfilled personality.
Handyman and Gardener
Hamilton, who joined Rainbow Oncology in 2015 is a quietly spoken and diligent gardener who keeps the beautiful Amanzimtoti Centres gardens looking pristine. He is married with children.
Emmanuel is the first face that you see on arrival in Toti. His beaming smile has welcomed patients since 2006.
He loves relaxing at home with his son in his free time and says that he also loves a good joke!