Mission to save lives

2011-01-24 00:00

A SCENIC trip around South Africa on a motorbike with the love of your life sounds like a pretty decent way to enjoy the festive season.

For Margate-based Dr Marius du Preez, though, the two-and-a-half- week trip represented something far more serious.

Du Preez, an orthopaedic surgeon, and his wife Yolande left Margate on December 27 on a 1958 BMW R60 motorbike with the sole aim of visiting cities all over the country to create awareness about the need for organ donations.

They arrived back last week.

About two years ago, Du Preez had donated one of his kidneys to his sister, who was in desperate need of a transplant.

“It was then that I realised that God had spoken to me and He wanted me to get other people to donate their organs,” said Du Preez.

The couple stopped off at malls and hotels all the way along their travels in an attempt to get people to register as organ donors.

“It is so easy to do; all you do is give them your postal address and they send you a card,” explained Du Preez. “You then nominate two people who will make the decisions once you have passed away.”

Du Preez disclosed that before he and his wife left, they had set themselves the goal of convincing 2 011 people to register as organ donors, a goal they have already surpassed.

“We are still counting and we are currently on 2 642,” he said.

Du Preez attracted the attention of the SABC in Cape Town, something he says helped a lot.

“Overall the trip was very successful; we got the message across that organ donation can save somebody’s life,” said Du Preez. The motto for the trip is fromthe movie Schindler’s List: “He who saves one life saves the world entire.”

Du Preez has urged members of the public to become registered organ donors by calling him at either 039 317 1470 or 082 872 2594.

God had spoken to me and He wanted me to get other people to donate their organs. Dr Marius du Preez

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