Hitting an ace over medical costs

2017-06-06 06:00

“Go home and spend time with your family.”

These were the words of a doctor at a state hospital when Obey Togarepi (34) sought help after being diagnosed with kidney failure in 2015.

The Straatwerk operations supervisor, who has been with the Cape Town NGO for several years, is a Zimbabwean citizen denied local public healthcare – even though he has an SA work permit.

Togarepi started dialysis at a private facility last year, with almost all of his salary going to two treatments per week, extra medical expenses and a special diet. At the same time, he applied for private medical aid but was subject to a 12-month waiting period due to his pre-existing condition. His wife Ashell also brings in earnings (sometimes working seven days a week) but, between them, there hasn’t been enough to cover his healthcare and support their two children, Bethanie (6) and Bradwell (3).

But now an avid tennis player is taking to the court to raise funds for Togarepi.

Scott Arendse, online coordinator of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), stepped in to help for the first time in May last year, when he organised a tennis marathon, Serving for Obey, in which he played non-stop for 12 hours.

He took up his racket again this weekend in another 12-hour marathon at the Plumstead Tennis Club, to raise funds for Togarepi.

“Obey was one of the first people I met when he started working at the CCID. We have a close relationship with Straatwerk as one of our social development partner NGOs. Obey greeted me with the brightest smile ever. Ever since then, I’ve considered him a friend, and we do whatever we can to help our friends,” Arendse says.

His idea is to raise funds to help Togarepi, but also to raise awareness of his plight.

“It seemed crazy that a human being contributing to the economy couldn’t receive treatment via the state. I set out to show Obey that, despite this, there are people who do care. As an individual, I felt I couldn’t do much to help Obey personally, but believed that together with others we could do something to raise collective awareness of Obey’s situation.”

Last year’s event raised R30 000.

This has made a dent in Togarepi’s outstanding dialysis bill of R105 000 since March last year, the balance of which still needs to be paid.

Togarepi completed his healthcare waiting period last week. Now his monthly dialysis cost will transfer to his medical aid and he can use his salary to begin paying back the outstanding medical debt.

“Any way in which any individual or organisation may be able to assist Obey would be greatly ­valued.”

“Go home and spend time with your ­family.”

These were the words of a doctor at a state hospital when Obey Togarepi (34) sought help after being diagnosed with kidney failure in 2015.

The Straatwerk operations supervisor, who has been with the Cape Town NGO for several years, is a Zimbabwean citizen denied local public healthcare – even though he has an SA work permit.

Togarepi started dialysis at a private facility last year, with almost all of his salary going to two treatments per week, extra medical expenses and a special diet. At the same time, he applied for private medical aid but was subject to a 12-month waiting period due to his pre-existing condition. His wife Ashell also brings in earnings (sometimes working seven days a week) but, between them, there hasn’t been enough to cover his healthcare and support their two children, Bethanie (6) and Bradwell (3).

But now an avid tennis player is taking to the court to raise funds for Togarepi.

Scott Arendse, online coordinator of the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID), stepped in to help for the first time in May last year, when he organised a tennis marathon, Serving for Obey, in which he played non-stop for 12 hours.

He took up his racket again this weekend in another 12-hour marathon at the Plumstead Tennis Club, to raise funds for ­Togarepi.

“Obey was one of the first people I met when he started working at the CCID. We have a close relationship with Straatwerk as one of our social development partner NGOs. Obey greeted me with the brightest smile ever. Ever since then, I’ve considered him a friend, and we do whatever we can to help our friends,” Arendse says.

His idea is to raise funds to help Togarepi, but also to raise awareness of his plight.

“It seemed crazy that a human being contributing to the economy couldn’t receive treatment via the state. I set out to show Obey that, despite this, there are people who do care. As an individual, I felt I couldn’t do much to help Obey personally, but believed that together with others we could do something to raise collective awareness of Obey’s situation.”

Last year’s event raised R30 000.

This has made a dent in Togarepi’s outstanding dialysis bill of R105 000 since March last year, the balance of which still needs to be paid.

Togarepi completed his healthcare waiting period last week. Now his monthly dialysis cost will transfer to his medical aid and he can use his salary to begin paying back the outstanding medical debt.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Watch: Investing in the future through child development

An investment of R32-million into 11 early childhood development centres is changing the future for children in the Northern Cape.

Partner Content
What all investors should know about index investing

Index-linked investments are growing fast in popularity globally, and are growing in size and complexity too.

/World
 

For the love of Corgis!

WATCH: 35 Corgi's to make your day! If they’re good enough for the Queen of England they’re good enough for us.

 
 

Paws

Can we communicate with our pets?
8 great natural remedies for your pet
Buying a puppy? Don’t get scammed!
WATCH: These funny animal videos will make you LOL!
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.