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Jun 1, 2015 12:25 PM ET

Archived: CancerDojo: Let’s build an app to increase Cancer survival

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 1, 2015

Let’s build an app to increase Cancer survival.

by CancerDojo



About the project


Our aim is to empower people facing cancer by giving them a role in their own cancer. Traditionally cancer patients are not given a role in their own healing, which can lead to depression and an even more compromised immune system. These feelings of helplessness are hugely debilitating and lead to a higher cancer death rate.

Research shows that being empowered in a debilitating situation has fundamental and beneficial effects on your immune system; enabling one to be more resilient and bounce back from treatments and setbacks better than others facing the same conditions.

We, together with professors, medical doctors and cancer oncologists, believe this fact is underutilized in the context of cancer survival.

So we’re building a tool to change this: The Cancer Dojo mobile app is an application that enables people living with cancer to boost their immune systems, increase the efficacy of their treatments and bounce back more resiliently. It is a complimentary way to augment the traditional treatments of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and many others. It is the one overarching layer that can positively enhance a potentially long and hard cancer experience.

Help us make this a reality, increase the cancer survival rate and save thousands upon thousands of lives.




 Let’s build an app to 
 increase Cancer survival 

 Help us empower people facing cancer by creating an app
 that boosts their immune systems and 

 increases their chance of survival 

Who drives the idea of Cancer Dojo

In 2006, Conn Bertish, an iconic internationally awarded creative director, big wave surfer, fear factor winner, husband and father of two young children, was handed the toughest brief he had ever seen.

Conn was diagnosed with a severe and extremely rare form of brain cancer.
While the traditional cancer treatments like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation were prescribed Conn felt there was something missing.

Surely he could do more that just ‘be strong’. He solved challenges for a living, so surely he could play a role here.

At first he used his imagination to create a drawn series of pen-on-paper metaphors that helped him visualise his tumour and treatments with intent.

He had found a playful way to interact with the cancer. See his cancer. Imagine beating his cancer.

All of a sudden, he had a role in his own survival



What is Cancer Dojo

Cancer Dojo is a new way of looking at how people can deal with cancer in a way that is, in many medical opinions, way ahead of it’s time; the physiologically impactful power of visual thought. It’s a space where people can grow, learn and share skills and tools as active participants in the fight against their cancer.


Doctor’s Notes on Cancer Dojo

It’s a space where people can keep each other company and send each other help. It’s a dojo, where creative people from all around the world will work alongside doctors and oncologists to find new ways to change the way we interact with the disease.

“At last a brilliant App that helps a lay person to understand and to thoroughly engage with his or her cancer on a creative, self-healing path.”

Dr Tom Sutcliffe, The Red Cross Children’s Hospital Trustee,
Chairman – Mental Health Review Board, Provincial Government Western Cape
Former Head, Western Cape Government: Health


“A vital step in any cancer journey is to be empowered to face it’s many challenges. Conn’s journey inspires and empowers.”

Dr Garth Davids,  Oncologist, GVI Oncology Rondebosch


“Cancer Dojo is a worthy endeavour to give practical effect of the application of these new (Pyschoneuroimmunology) insights to those affected by this challenging (cancer) condition of whom Conn Bertish is a noteworthy exemplar.”

Dr Claudius van Wyk – M. Phil (Applied Ethics), M.Sc (O.B.), D.Sc. (Alt.Med.) – Member Scientific and Medical Network (UK)


Cancer Dojo is social enterprise partner of People Living With Cancer, a registered Non Profit Organisation. 


What is needed for Cancer Dojo

What we need to build the first phase of the Cancer Dojo cancer fighting application :

R400 000 
to fund a team to manage, 
oversee and run the project for the duration of the beta phase of its creation and implementation.

R1 000 000 
to fund the physical coding, 
wireframes, design, development,
animation, sound design
and user experience for first phase success.

R100 000 
for the marketing, 
branding and advertising of the Cancer Dojo tools.  

R100 000 
for registration of the app and associated costs and contingency fees.

The first version of the Cancer Dojo app will empower others facing cancer to better survive the disease as well as enable their supporters to play a fundamental role in their survival.

Your funds will save lives on a global scale.
Help us build a new way to survive cancer.

Cancer Dojo is a Non Profit Social Enterprise.


Cancer Dojo Milestones

Milestone 1 – R150 000
Funds the cost of research, user experience, structure and planning for the platform wireframe and IOS functions.
Funds the bones on which the app will be built.

Milestone 2 – R800 000
Funds the building of the full beta app, with design, gamification and first animated interactive treatment video –
‘Chemo Loco’.
Will include partnership with Cancerbuddies support community and low level internal community integration.
Will include low level supporters platform.
And the hiring of support staff.

Milestone 3 – R1 600 000
The first version of the Cancer Dojo app with 3 x interactive treatment videos: ‘Radiation Go Go’,  ‘Surgery Bouncer’ and ‘The Chemo Loco’.
Will include community sharing tools, gamified badges, gifting applications and supporter tools.
Will include immune boosting content partners and medical facilitation. This is the platform that will redefine how we treat cancer going forward. And is the start of Cancer Dojo 2.0. 


Browse and Support our Cancer Dojo campaign 
by clicking on this link Rewards


Where else can we find Cancer dojo online



Cancer Dojo in full effect on board a Thundafund Campaign





Hi my name is Conn Bertish and I am the founder and creative lead on all things Cancer Dojo. I am an experienced executive creative director (15 yrs) in the advertising world and have spent the last four years creating this Cancer Dojo approach while battling brain cancer, which I beat in late 2013.

I am a creative thinker, conceptual artist and writer. I’ve won many international accolades for my work in advertising, design, environmental activism and art. I now want to dedicate myself and my skills, to bring Cancer Dojo and it’s creative approach to cancer to life. It helped save my life, and will do the same for others.

What follows is my growing team of Dojo’ers:

Jannie Du Plessis is the CEO of People Living With Cancer – an NPO Cancer organisation – of which we are a partner. Jannie is a cancer survivor, fireball fund raiser, art show organiser and tv celebrity.

Patrick Schofield, too is a cancer survivor, founder and MD of Thundafund – SA’s most successful crowdfunding site. Patrick will assist and manage all cancer dojo crowdfunding in 2015.

Ross Frylink is the co-owner of Wavescape.co.za – South Africa’s largest surf and lifestyle website. He is a fundraising geni, festival organiser of note and director of forward-thinking Sea Change.org. He will perform the role of advisor and collaborator for the first phase of Cancer Dojo.

Jim Faulds is the CEO of JWT South Africa and partner of Cancer Dojo, Jim will perform an advisory role and power up the JWT global network to spread the Dojo message around the world.

Chris Von Selle CCO JWT Africa – Connector, advisor and global facilitator of the Cancer Dojo / JWT collaboration.

Heidi Bertish is a designer, landscape designer and the gardens editor of South African Conde Naste Magazine. She is a co-creator of Cancer Dojo where her Psychology degree with focus on art therapy has, and will continue to play a large role in creation of Cancer Dojo content.

James Mckay is the MD of Quirk CPT, he is a Cancer Dojo collaborator and partner – he will facilitate the digital strategy and social media strategy related to the launch of Cancer Dojo.

Jackie Ecliplse media – Our experienced media partner, broadcaster and influencial hooker-upper to further public awareness and support.

Janette De Villiers – Founder of Inc.creative – a Cape Town content production agency. Inc is our content provider, collaborator and enabler; assisting with the creation of animation, sound and film content.

Dianne Makings – our project manager and campaign coordinator. She keeps all the cogs turning and makes sure we are all heading in the right direction.

Natalie Roos and Keenan Mulvaney – Our social media dynamic duo. This couple are instrumental in getting our message out there and driving grass root support.

Emma Hessen Copywriter R&Y – Key copy wrangler and mistress of the smart word and thought.

Karien Murray – our Awesome crowdfunding director and Giant Films our generous production company supporter.








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