While running the great wall, I was constantly in awe of the beauty surrounding me. The beauty of the planet and its magnificence, but constantly in the back of my mind was the reminder of the paradox, how can this beauty of our planet also be the home of such pain and suffering experienced by our children”
Children born with such facial disfigurement that they are ostracized by those around them, struggle to speak, let alone eat. To me the final measurement of the success of my journey can only be measured by the children that I can help realise their simple dream of a god given right to a smile.
With a simple operation of some 45 minutes a Child’s life can be changed forever. Since we started this foundation, we have been instrumental in helping some 54 children, who during the run received facial surgery in Empangeni in Kwazulu Natal. Having been involved in the inaugural mission in South Africa we are now busy with our next fundraising adventure in order to continue with this worthy cause.
On my return to South Africa I made a trip up to Empangeni with my daughter (who is a volunteer for Operation Smile) to meet some of the children, a moment that I will never forget, to see all those beautiful faces, radiating their new smiles. I am proud to be associated with Operation Smile.
The second of my adventures, the joint run around the coast of South Africa has had massive response and we have raised over R 2 000 000-00 The highlight of this project was being able to finally attend a surgical mission, (a group of operations) In the Transkei during the run, I witnessed life changing operations on some 10 children, 30 were done in total. An experience that I will never forget ,and which makes every step of my journey count being able to help make a difference in the lives of children in my country.
My most recent event, the solo Madagascar Journey I have raised in excess of 1,2 million rand. Returning to the island 4 months after the event as part of the operation smile mission, I was witness to 180 children receiving reconstructive surgery. It make my journey count and every painful step worth it.
Through the Miles For Smiles foundation together with Operation Smile South Africa, over 1000 children’s lives have been changed. Our project has reached beyond our borders and the project has been involved in the following countries; South Africa, Madagascar, Swaziland and we are looking at Mozambique, Namibia and the DRC.