The third annual SPAR Family Challenge on October 8 will ensure that the dreams of even more terminally ill children in the East London area will be realised.
The Reach for a Dream Foundation has been announced as the beneficiary for the event that includes runs of 5km and 9.8km.
“The foundation assists children aged three to 18 who are battling illnesses such as cancer, leukaemia, liver sclerosis, nephrotic syndrome, HIV and Duchenne muscular dystrophy,” said RFAD’s Eastern Cape branch manager Ronell Davel.
“Fulfilling children’s dreams is incredibly rewarding and inspires hope.”
She said they forgot all about their treatment and the pain that it brought.
“Their excitement is priceless.”
Davel said that meeting Caster Semenya must have been one of the best dreams so far.
According to her, other memorable dreams included flying in a small plane, driving in a sports car on a racing track and interacting with giraffes.
Reach for a Dream also have a weekend get-away initiative called Camp Sunshine, which includes activities such as talent shows, obstacle courses, campfire concerts and team-building exercises.
“The camps create transforming bonding experiences with other children and families,” said Davel.
“We know that having a sick child can put a lot of stress on a family and we would just like them to relax and enjoy the weekend with other families.”
Reach for a Dream visit hospitals and other partners daily to build relationships with doctors and nurses, who refer kids that meet the criteria.
“We rely on private sponsors as well as our own fundraising campaigns,” said Davel.
Reach for a Dream realise about 25 kids’ dreams in East London and Mthatha each month.
Davel said the public were welcome to get involved.
“We are always looking for volunteers we can train as dream makers.”
SPAR Eastern Cape promotions and advertising controller Roseann Shadrach said it was important to give back to the community.
“That is why we have identified a beneficiary that serves the people of East London,” she said.
Shadrach said family was one of the cornerstones of the brand and Reach for a Dream seeked to alleviate the stress that was associated with having a child who had a life-threatening disease.