Cows get set to ride for Jodi

2018-10-17 06:02
Part of the zany group of cyclists who will be riding the Tsogo Sun Amashova on Sunday to try and raise R50 000 for CHOC as part of the ‘Journey For Jodes’ in memory of Jodi Wersig are (from left) Joao de Jesus, Ronald Wichman, Dan Wersig, and Brett Precious.PHOTO: supplied

Part of the zany group of cyclists who will be riding the Tsogo Sun Amashova on Sunday to try and raise R50 000 for CHOC as part of the ‘Journey For Jodes’ in memory of Jodi Wersig are (from left) Joao de Jesus, Ronald Wichman, Dan Wersig, and Brett Precious.PHOTO: supplied

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IN amongst the thousands of cyclists enjoying the Tsogo Sun Amashova Durban Classic on Sunday will be a gutsy Pietermaritzburg father out to make a statement about the ongoing battle against cancer.

Dan Wersig lost his wife, Jodi, to breast cancer in July this year, aged 33, leaving two young children to ponder the sudden loss of their mother.

While still battling to come to terms with the loss, Dan Wersig decided to channel his grief into raising money for CHOC, as one of the race’s official charities, to help ease the plight of young children battling cancer.

“What this has taught me, and what Jodi has given me since she left us, is that life is too short to sweat the small stuff,” said Dan.

“Do not take anything or anyone for granted. Live each day as though it is your last. Tell people you love them.

“Be very grateful for what you have and do things that make you happy, and stop doing the things that don’t,” he said.

“With all of this in mind, and having been through what I have, I could never imagine what it must be like for a child, or the parents of that child, to have to go through something like this,” he added.

“This is why I started ‘Journey for Jodes’ — a drive to create awareness and raise funds for CHOC and the amazing work that they do for these little soldiers and their families,” he said.

Wersig has set a goal of raising R50 000 for CHOC at this year’s Tsogo Sun Amashova, and he has a group of ten friends who will be riding the 65km race from Cato Ridge in furry Cow suits to support him.

He openly admits that he is short of training but is eager to take on the challenge to push his “Journey For Jodes” cause.

In a roller coaster fifteen months, the Wersig family moved to Durban to set up life as a young family when Jodi was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer.

She underwent two surgeries, followed by five months of chemotherapy and another four months of radiation.

After initially getting the all clear, in subsequent tests she later learnt that the cancer had metastasized and had spread into her bones and were scattered all over her body.

“We were told she had between twelve and twenty four months to live,” said Wersig. “We then decided to move back to Maritzburg to be closer to our friends and family, as we both grew up here.

“She knew she had to fight for me and our two kids,” he added. “The type of cancer Jodi had was one of the most aggressive and four months later, on July 27, after a seventeen month fight, she passed away.

“This completely shattered our world and every dream we had for our family was taken away,” he explained.

“I could never explain to anyone what this feels like or what it has done to me as, only if you have been through this would you ever understand.”

Anyone who would like to support the “Journey for Jodes” cause can make a donation through www.givengain.com/activist/228936/

About The Cows

The Cows were started in 2008 by a group of eight enthusiastic cyclists keen to make a difference and raise funds for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa.

Cordi van Niekerk, one of the founding members, joined Kerrin and Grant Bain in cycling the 947 Cycle Challenge in memory of their daughter, Jessica, who had recently died from cancer at just 20 months old.

As CHOC had played a significant role in the Bain family’s life in the last few weeks of Jessica’s life, specifically with palliative care and emotional support, the decision was made to make CHOC the beneficiary of their quest. They decided to don cow suits and succeeded in raising R230 000.

In 2009, the herd gained momentum and grew to 140 energetic cows. Just two years later, the herd numbered a staggering 350 cows, all riding for a purpose. Armed with the “Love Living Life” slogan, and a healthy dose of enthusiasm, the herd has enjoyed much success and acclaim.

Ten later, hundreds of people have participated in events wearing cow suits. The Cows have just broken through the R30 million mark of funds raised for specific projects implemented by CHOC and The Cows brand is prominent in many sporting events in South Africa.

With these funds, CHOC is able to make a difference to the children being treated for cancer throughout South Africa.

One herd; one quest: to make a difference to children with cancer. Love Living Life!

More information can be found at www.thecows.co.za

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