GEORGE NEWS - Two granddads, Pieter Oberholzer and George Hamilton, will be cycling through the South Eastern Cape from 7 to 15 September to raise funds for Choc, an organisation that supports children with cancer and their families.
The drive started in August 2018 when Elleny Engelbrecht was diagnosed with leukaemia. The news had an enormous impact on her family, emotionally as well as financially. In order to help with the financial burden, Pieter registered a trust account with a charity and initiated a fund-raising project.
Pieter called on family friend George Hamilton, also a retiree, and they cycled from Cape Point to George to raise funds. The project was called Coastal Patrol Elleny because they tried to stay as close to the coast as possible, avoiding highways and tar roads as far as they could. In the end it was a journey of 662km and a vertical climb of 5 458m.
The good news is that Elleny's health improved after intensive chemotherapy and other treatment and she got the go-ahead to go to school for the first time in the second quarter of this year.
The financial burden on the family is less strenuous, but they realised there are thousands of other families in the same position, so they decided to launch a similar project to assist other children / families with similar challenges.
"We do this project in cooperation with Choc, an organisation that serves and support the children, parents, families and communities through their cancer journey to keep more than hope alive," says Pieter.
The 2019 cycle tour started at the George Airport on Saturday 7 September where they finished last year. The initial plan was to cycle to East London, but due to road works the tour will most probably end at Begha Mouth, east of Port Alfred.
"The fight against cancer is not an easy road," says Pieter. "Therefore we also do not take the easy road. We will ride the Seven Passes between George and Knysna, the Groot Rivier Pass, the original Boesmansrivier Pass and many more with our mountain bikes. The planned route is 666 kilometres over a period of nine days."
The team consists of four members, two riders and two support personnel. There are no sponsors and they will fund the project themselves. They will be camping at night to keep the costs as low as possible.
Anybody who wants to make a donation in favour of the project, can do it here.
All the funds go directly into the Choc account.
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