Mountain of medals for kids with cancer

2016-12-19 09:19
Gauteng teacher Andrew Colesky has collected over 1400 medals to give to children in oncology wards. He never anticipated that his appeal for medals on Facebook would receive such a huge response. Medals came in from around the country (Supplied)

Gauteng teacher Andrew Colesky has collected over 1400 medals to give to children in oncology wards. He never anticipated that his appeal for medals on Facebook would receive such a huge response. Medals came in from around the country (Supplied)

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Cape Town – Most athletes relish the sweet feeling of a medal around their neck after a gruelling race. But once the excitement dies down and the adrenaline rush has passed, the medals usually end up stored away in a tangled mess.

This was exactly the case for a high school teacher in Gauteng, who decided he would put them to a much better use.

Inspired by a friend who lost her battle to pancreatic cancer, Sacred Heart College teacher Andrew Colesky called on neighbours in Linden to join him in donating their medals to children in the paediatric oncology wards at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.

“My friend’s wish, when she got better, was to go to a hospital, help little oncology kids and motivate them,” he said.

Unfortunately she died three years ago at the age of 36. He volunteered his time for cancer patients and their families.

Then the medal idea came to him. He felt it was a fitting tribute to small bodies running a marathon with big, scary diseases.

“I am a runner myself and I know all my medals go into a shoe box. But if you give a medal to a five or six-year-old, they get so excited and run around with it all day, so proud.”

When Colesky posted his appeal on a Facebook community page on December 4, he never anticipated he would receive such an overwhelming response.

“It actually just got completely out of hand!” he recalled with a chuckle.

Within a week, he had around 1400 medals and counting (along with 76 miniature trophies for good measure).

His Facebook inbox was flooded with messages from people from around the country. Some offered to get their medals to him via plane or courier.

With school exams in the bag, and activities winding down, he had some time to deal with all the admin.

However, he still had to enlist the help of Linden catering company, Oregano Patisserie, to act as a drop-off point.

Some of the medals came from people who had run the Comrades marathon. Cyclists and walkers also chipped in.

A chuffed Colesky, who had already dropped off some at the hospital and a nearby CHOC house, said there were more than enough medals for the children at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and the Rahima Moosa Mother and Child Hospital.

 

Read more on:    good news  |  health

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