Locals to hike up Kilimanjaro

2015-06-24 06:00
PHOTO: supplied

Paediatric oncologist Jaques van Heerden and St Anne’s Diocesan College drama teacher Moira Filmer will be taking on Mount Kilimanjaro to create awareness about childhood cancer and the Choc Foundation.

PHOTO: supplied Paediatric oncologist Jaques van Heerden and St Anne’s Diocesan College drama teacher Moira Filmer will be taking on Mount Kilimanjaro to create awareness about childhood cancer and the Choc Foundation.

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PAEDIATRIC oncologist, Jaques van Heerden and St Anne’s Diocesan College drama teacher, Moira Filmer will take on Mount Kilimanjaro to create awareness about childhood cancer and the Choc Foundation.

Van Heerden said the idea started as a “spark of madness” and originated as something on his bucket list of things to do however, after speaking to friend Filmer, an avid hiker, he decided to embark on the journey with her.

Raising awareness about Choc has a special meaning for Van Heerden and Filmer as they both lost their fathers to cancer and see this adventure as a pilgrimage of healing.

“We initially decided just to climb the mountain, but the more we thought about it we decided to make the journey more valuable by attaching meaning to our hike,” said Van Heerden.

Speaking from experience, Van Heerden said the challenge of dealing with the diagnosis of cancer for adult and child is tough.

“It’s such a good metaphor. The patient’s journey from the time of diagnosis is much like them climbing a mountain. It comes with so many challenges and they have to be strong to reach the end of the journey. This is our way of representing their journey,” he said.

Van Heerden and Filmer began training in December 2014. They have since completed hikes on peaks in the Drakensberg and Lesotho.

The pair leave for Tanzania on Friday, 26 June and will begin their seven-day hike, which will end on Saturday, 4 July.

“We are honoured to have Dr Jaques van Heerden choose Grey’s Hospital to practice paediatric oncology and his choice to raise funds for Choc. We wish them a safe journey and thank them for keeping hope alive,” said Chilufya Pikiti, branch manager at Choc Pietermaritzburg.

Van Heerden is hoping to raise funds for the Grey’s Hospital paediatric oncology ward in order to refurbish it as well as donate money to Choc.

To donate visit www.givengain.com/cause/ 2642/projects/ 15588/

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