LIFESTYLE
28/03/2018 16:43 SAST | Updated 28/03/2018 16:43 SAST

Making The Dreams Of Terminally-Ill Kids In SA Come True

"These kids go through a lot, and it's these small things that make a massive difference."

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No one can imagine the positive impact a dream fulfilled can have for a terminally ill child and their family.

18-year-old Klaas Prinsloo, for example, has an advanced stage of Ewing's sarcoma — a rare form of cancer that develops in the bones, cartilage or nerves. His dream was to meet his F1 racing hero, Lewis Hamilton. In July last year, it came true.

For five-year-old Indiphile Majacimani, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, her dream was to have a rocking horse. Not only did she get it last year but, to make it extra special, she was taken to a local equestrian riding school where she could see and feed real horses.

"He wanted toys, he got them. He wanted to go go-karting, he did that," said eight-year-old Lufentse's dad, Fitheli. His son is a kidney cancer survivor.

And that's what it's all about, said the chairperson of the Reach For A Dream foundation, Mervyn Serebro: "We have never not fulfilled a dream, regardless of simplicity or complexity. It's about making what children really wish for happen."

Serebro was speaking in Johannesburg on Wednesday, at the launch of the foundation's Slipper Day – an initiative to support Reach For A Dream in fulfilling dreams of children and adolescents who've been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.

"These kids go through a lot," said Dr Craig Nossel, head of Discovery's Vitality Wellness, "and it's these small things that make a massive difference."

For once, she did not have to worry about doctors or procedures, she could just be a little girl in love with a little pony.

Majacimani's mom knows this too well. "Indiphile was so happy to have a horse of her very own. She played on it happily and for once, she did not have to worry about doctors or procedures, she could just be a little girl in love with a little pony."

"I don't have the words to explain, but it was so great to see how happy he was," said 12-year-old Akhona Ndlovu's mom. Ndlovu, a sports fanatic with nephrotic syndrome, wanted to own a Playstation, and that dream was realised. He even had a chance to visit Moses Mabhida stadium.

The organisation touched the lives of 45,000 children last year — many of whom do not survive, said Serebro.

"To be left with a combination of memory and photographs isn't really fair, but if it's all you have, it becomes really special as a parent," said Serebro, who shared that he had lost two children.

"My son was 23 when he died, 16 months of two periods of ill health. How he desperately wanted to do the things we take for granted."

You can support the foundation by buying a R10 wristband and wearing your most comfortable slippers out of the house on Slipper Day on May 11.