Dr Waldemar Szpak
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 Rashanika Behari
Dr Behari has been with Rainbow Oncology since its inception and is a warm, loving and professional Oncologist with a wealth of experience and knowledge.
Dr Behari has a great love for reading autobiographies and biographies in her spare time.
She also enjoys crossword puzzles and spending time in her garden.
Dr Marion Algar
Medical Officer (Currently on Study break)
A born and bred Durban girl, Dr Marion Algar joined Rainbow Oncology in 2017 as a medical officer after approaching Dr Szpak to join the practice. She says the amazing team approach is what led to her to choose Rainbow as her home.
Her interest in Oncology was sparked after 1 week of Oncology exposure during her rotation period. Dr Algar graduated with Honours at UCT followed by an Internship at Greys Hospital, PMB and then an interesting year of community service in the Oncology Ward in Klerksdorp of all places.
She has a passion for travel and nature, and one of her greatest loves is bird watching in the Kruger National Park. She is also a keen runner and fitness enthusiast.
Dr Lashistha Parthab
Clinical Oncology Assistant
Lashistha joined Rainbow Oncology in 2019 and has always had an interest in oncology and palliative medicine.
She spent several years gaining invaluable experience in Psychiatry and HIV research prior to her joining Rainbow Oncology.
Dr Lashistha is a born and bred Durban girl who studied at UKZN.
When not at Rainbow, she loves spending time with family, reading and travel.
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.
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!
With more than a decade of Oncology experience and 40 years of valuable nursing experience, Lynn holds a wealth of knowledge which she loves to share when counselling and advising patients.
Lynn is passionate about people and feels very much at home being at Rainbow Oncology, she says “every single staff member is passionate about their positions, starting right at the top with Dr Szpak.”
On the home side, she also enjoys gardening and quilting.
Joining Rainbow Oncology full time in 2017 after nearly 2 years of locum work at the practice, Jayashree loves her daily interaction with the patients and the idea of assisting in their healing. She is also interested in alternative medicine.
She has a thirst for knowledge and is a self-proclaimed history boffin with a particular interest in all things Egyptian.
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!
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.
Accounts at Parklands
“Every day at Rainbow Oncology is a learning experience” says Betty Sewcoomar who has been with Rainbow Oncology intermittently since 2009. Betty is a wife and mother of 2 grown daughters, waiting patiently to become a granny. She also loves reading and would love to travel to the destinations that she reads about in her novels.
Reception at Parklands Practice
Bringing her wicked sense of humour to Rainbow Oncology, Linda enjoys scrapbooking, card making and shabby chic’ing furniture in her spare time. She is a mom to several “furbabies”.
Linda has been with Rainbow since 2015.
Reception at Amanzimtoti and PA to Dr Szpak
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.
Lorraine Le Roux
Reception at Amanzimtoti
Lorraine is a “always on the go” person who is also a fur mom to several animals at home. She enjoys the wonderful working environment she is exposed to at Rainbow Ocology.
Lorraine joined the practice in 2016.
General Assistant at Amanzimtoti
Nora also brings with her a huge smile and funfilled personality.
Reception/Administration at both practices
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.
Patient Transporter Amanzimtoti
Linda is very proudly the oldest member of the Rainbow team. She is a very vibrant car lover so her role suits her just perfectly. Linda is a breast cancer survivor who joined Rainbow Oncology in 2012 when looking for something to keep her busy from day to day.
In her spare time she loves doing 1500-piece jigsaw puzzles and Sudoku whilst caring for her husband who is paralysed.
Linda is also a great animal lover.
Security and General Assistant
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!
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.