Raising funds for the Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital - Cape Town, South Africa

In 2009 my young grandson, Tristan, suffered burns to his upper body and was treated in the phenomenal Burns Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital in Cape Town. It was an extremely traumatising experience for us all and introduced us to the reality faced by so many sick children and their families who have to deal with this kind of trauma.

We are so grateful for the wonderful care and support Tristan received at the Hospital from doctors and medical staff that we decided, as a family, that it would be fitting for us to be able to give back in some way. I’ve therefore committed to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in July 2010 and will attempt to raise much needed funds for the Hospital.

100% of money I raise will be allocated directly to upgrade the Burns Unit - every cent donated to the Hospital Trust will directly benefit the Hospital.

Ultimately, the purpose of this project is to raise funds for an extremely deserving cause. I have given a personal guarantee to match the amount I must raise in sponsorships in the form of financial donations to the Trust.

I am very excited about being able to make a difference and sincerely hope you will be able to come on board with me in helping to get other sick children back home where they belong!

This is how you can get involved....


If you have a skill that you would like to 'donate' instead of money, this slot is for you.

I will create an event around what you have to offer and 100% of what people pay to attend will be donated to the hospital.

The hair spa day held in March at the Wayne.com salon at the One and Only Hotel is an example of such an event. We were able to raise R5250 on that day.


Kilimanjaro is 5895m high. You can decide to pledge a certain amount per meter that I climb. You can email your pledges to me at: ferreira@netpoint.co.za OR you can download a pledge page from the section on the right of this page and fax it to me.

If you can't pledge yourself, how about getting your company to pledge and to perhaps even challenge other companies to match or better their pledge!!


On the right hand side of the blog, near the top, there is a section that includes a direct link to the hospital's website.

Read all the directions before clicking on the link, it is important for the hospital to be able to allocate your donation correctly.

The hospital trust will issue a tax certificate for any donation over R100, so that's an extra bonus for both individuals and companies!


I am currently collecting goods to offer on an auction to be held later this year - anything that we can turn into money is welcome!

Just to give you a sample of some of the things we have at this stage: three TOP NOTCH bottles of South African wines, compliments of Janet Malherbe, and five signed copies of a book written by the adventurer and master fundraiser David Grier!

For more info on David: http://www.davidgrier.co.za/

I'd love to be able to offer nights away at wonderful places in our country, romantic dinners at special restaurants etc. So if you have any connections or have something that you can offer yourself, I'd love to hear from you!

Just to make double sure you have my contact details - here it is again: ferreira@netpoint.co.za

Tristan enjoying being a healthy, happy little boy!

my blog entries

Will try and update on a regular basis!! :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Stepping it up...

Today I stepped up my training a few notches. Virgin Active in Table View have given me a membership to their gym until the end of July to prepare for the climb - THANKS A MIL guys! Now I can work on all the areas that I have not focussed on during the running and hiking and with the help of one of their trainers, Shirley, I am learning how to make the most of the equipment.

I am going to have to work hard until the 21st of July to build up and maintain my level of fitness as I have some catching up to do!

Tomorrow we'll be hiking from Constantia Nek, it's really going to give me a good idea of what hiking in cold weather is like - right now we have all the heaters in the house on full blast and even the dogs are all under the blankets! It's freezing in Cape Town!

Thought I'd share this little piece of wisdom that I read in a magazine yesterday: 'Never let the weed of negativity take root in your life - life is too short!' Isn't that just true!

So in the spirit of things positive, I'm off to make myself a warm cup of tea and I'm going to fill my head with visions of myself standing on the summit of Kilimanjaro with the biggest smile ever! To top it all off I'm going to alternate that with visions of a target reached for the Red Cross Children's Hospital. After all, that's what this is all about!

We are going to make a difference - of this I am positively sure! ;)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hakuna matata!

These amazing pictures of Kilimanjaro were taken by Tony Laubscher whilst flying over Tanzania - all in a days work!

Looking at these pictures and realising how the 21st of July is looming in a very big and scary way, I've decided that I am going to have to get to know this mountain and start preparing myself mentally for what lies ahead. So my first plan of action was to  arm myself with a catch phrase. I looked up some Swahili words and decided that 'Hakuna matata' or 'No problem!', will do for me!

So. What are the facts? The mountain is 5895m high. In 6 days one goes from Equatorial forests to arctic conditions. The range begins with the warm, dry plains with average temperatures of 30 degrees celsius where Moshi and Arusha are situated. The hike starts in a wide belt of wet tropical forest with plenty huge trees and Spanish moss. You then travel through zones with generally decreasing temperatures and rainfall, to the summit where there is permanent ice and below freezing temperatures.

July is the dry season, so generally considered a good time of the year to climb. Hopefully there won't be too many clouds as I have specifically chosen to summit on the 26th of July, the night of a full moon.

The biggest challenge one faces it seems, is Acute Mountain Sickness. This rival of all high altitude climbers can affect one from as low as 2500 meters but is more common above 3000 meters. Until you've been at these altitudes, you have no way of knowing how your body is going to react. AMS occurs as a result of the body's failure to adapt to higher altitudes.

One of the things that I have heard over and over is that one should climb slowly to prevent the onset of AMS and you should also be able to recognise all the symptoms, as well as know how to deal with them. I am doing my homework as best I can about this topic and have already bought my Diamox tablets - a must to have with you to help you deal with this condition. I will also be taking my natural remedy mix with, given to me by my friends Stefani and Phillip - they used it successfully when visiting Everest a couple of months ago.

SO...I think that is enough for now! I will tackle all the smaller issues one by one, no point in getting too worked up about AMS, it is what it is.

A definite positive is that the Outriders Fundraising effort is going really well and I have had a number of promises for smaller pledges. I have decided to have the auction later in the year and hope to be able to collect an amazing array of things to offer!

So quite a bit of work ahead, but as I said: Hakuna matata!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Three is company!

With Yolanda and Sandra - first strategy meeting!

The third member of our climbing party, Sandra, came down to Cape Town from Namibia this weekend and the three of us got together for the first time. Well, I can tell we are going to have a great climb, we didn't stop talking for two hours!

We poured over lists of items to take with, discussed what we've heard from other climbers or read up about and just generally started getting our minds ready for this amazing adventure. I'm a firm believer that people don't just cross your path randomly, each one is in your life at exactly the time they should be there. I can honestly say that these two girls are the most perfect climbing partners for this trip and I could not have asked for more suited companions!

We decided to pose for a 'before' picture as promised - no guarantee what the 'after' shot is going to look like! One thing is for sure, there is a great spirit amongst the three of us and climbing to the top of Africa certainly is going to be a highlight in all of our lives. For me personally there will be no bigger high than being able to say that this effort raised at least R100 000 for the burns unit at the Red Cross Children's hospital.

With all the positive support we are getting right now I have a sneaky suspicion that it's not going to be impossible!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Meeting up with old friends...

As  a tour guide I visited Cape Point regularly with overseas guests - what a pleasure it was to bump into some of my old friends today! At the end of our hike we encountered these guys - totally uninterested in us but clearly well fed and perfectly happy. Hard to believe that the interaction between them and humans is so controversial at times - when you see them just frolicking about like this all just seems the way it should be.

The weather played along nicely and we had a great hike - great scenery,a relatively easy terrain and great company made for yet another magic Thursday! 

This Saturday we will be meeting the third member of our little climbing party, I am really looking forward to that - the trip to Kilimanjaro is becoming a reality now! We'd better take a 'before' picture as I'm sure the 'after' pics are going to be very different!!

 If you've never hiked in the Cape Point Nature Reserve I can highly recommend it - no hectic equipment or hiking experience needed!

Here are some of the images I captured today...

Irene and Florence nearing the end of the hike - Yolanda, in the front, was actually stalked by a baboon at this stage!

Otter footprints! A pity we missed them...

Cape Point in the distance

A spectacular view from one of the highest points of the route.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Table Talk support!

Grandma on a climbing mission for Children's Hospital

That was the title of the article that appeared in our local newspaper, the Table Talk, today! Two things really struck home - a) the 'grandma' is me and b) yes, I have to climb 5895m!!

I'm incredibly happy that the Table Talk has given us this exposure and hopefully our community will come on board in a big way. Pam Fourie, the reporter who wrote the article, was willing to take on the project immediately and she has covered the involvement of the Outriders Cycling club as well, thanks a mil Pam!

She has also appealed to anyone who has anything to offer for the auction planned for late this year to make contact with me - so watch this space!

Our local Remax agency has also produced a lovely brochure asking for support - the first pledge has already come in and money has been banked! Thank you once again Jeanne, Debra and Chantal for your incredible effort. Details of all the sponsors who have donated to the hospital along with Remax will appear on the blog soon. 

Last week we hiked the Newlands Forest and tomorrow we're heading down to Cape Point. We'll be doing a 10km hike in the reserve. Even though I visited the Cape Point Nature Reserve a million times as a tour guide, this will be my first hike in the reserve. Let's hope the baboons are in a good mood!

Pictures before the weekend!

Oh, and almost forgot.... the 3rd girl joining us on the climb next month will be down from Namibia this weekend! We're meeting up, hopefully on Saturday, so looking forward to that! We're going to be tackling a really big task together, so meeting up at least once before the time is something to look forward to.

Grandma has to leave home at 7am tomorrow, so better get some rest!  ;)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hope this will be me soon!!

Bev and her friends on top of the world!

Finally! I've had the opportunity to chat to someone who has actually climbed the mountain... Bev Sunshine (pictured here in the middle) tackled the Machame route a couple of years ago with eight of her friends in support of the SA Bone Marrow Registry.

I will be climbing the same route, so it has really been wonderful chatting to her and getting loads of advice. To top it all, they shot a video of the entire trip which I'll be able to watch within the next few days. They all made it to the top, so I'm definitely plan on following all her tips and suggestions!

The only thing that can stop me now will be altitude sickness and I've made peace with the fact that there will be absolutely nothing I can do about that if it hits me really bad. You simply do not know what your body is going to do at altitude and as I am climbing with a really reputable company, if they say turn back, well then that is what I'll have to do.

If you haven't read the older posts, I'll be climbing with a company called Wild Frontiers. They are recommended by Cape Union Mart and have taken hundreds of people to the top of Kili, so I'm pretty confident that I made the right choice.

As for the hiking, last Thursday we climbed the Jonkershoek Mountains outside of Stellenbosch. It was lovely out there but we could definitely feel the winter chill in the air! I still can't believe that it's taken me this long to start hiking, every week we visit yet another BEAUTIFUL spot - we really do live in a wonderful part of the world! Just a pity that some of the routes, especially on Table Mountain, have now also been discovered by the muggers of our society.

Just last weekend two people were mugged on the route from the lower cable station to Rhodes Memorial - it just makes one so angry!

Anyway - good thoughts only... All's going to be well and next I'll tell you about my talk the other night - the Outriders Cycling Club have joined this fundraising effort 100% - what an amazing group of people!!

Here are some of the pics I took at Jonkershoek last Thursday - I hope it inspires you to put on your boots and get out there, who knows, you might discover a new passion, just like I did!