Thaba cyclist prepares for 1000km for Baby Reef Fund

A week long stay at Atlanta Holiday Resort is up for grabs.

THABAZIMBI – Reef Donald James Carneson was born on 17 September 2008 to proud parents Lydia and Ryan from Johannesburg. Reef was diagnosed with Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) at just 5 months old.

After receiving a bone marrow transplant, little Reef’s problems escalated. He developed Graft-Versus-Host-Disease (GVHD) which is a complication that can occur after a bone marrow transplant in which the newly transplanted material attacks the transplant recipient’s body. Little Reef spent his first birthday in isolation. He has been fighting infections and seizures, yet he is a little boy that lights up a room with laughter.

Reef is now 3 years old and wears baby clothing (6-12 months). He walks with support and can only say one word, Mama. His skin is red and inflamed and itches uncontrollably. His Graft-Versus-Host-Disease has caused contractures on his hands, hips, knees and ankles. His parents have located doctors that can help their little warrior at the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital.

The doctors told Reef’s parents that he would make a full recovery if he received the required treatment and they wanted Reef to return to LA by 1 November to start the two months of intense in patient treatment. During this time, drugs to get his GVHD under control will be administered and he will be examined by various paediatric specialists. He will then continue treatments for 2 years as an out patient, which will include rehab to enable Reef to eat, drink, talk, walk and open his hands. Microsurgery to both hands may need to be carried out to release skin and tendons.

His parents were overjoyed and excited until they received the cost from the hospital… $110 000 deposit to cover the 2 months in hospital and a grand total of $500 000 for the complete 2 year treatment.

Reef, his father Ryan, Mother Lydia and baby sister Payten left for LA on 26 October 2011. Treatment will hopefully begin soon, as they have managed to raise the deposit with the help of the public and Reef’s facebook supporters. They still need to raise the $500 000 for the full 2 year treatment. If Reef doesn’t get the treatment that is necessary, it may lead to deafness and blindness and he might be wheelchair bound.

Visit Reef’s webpage: www.savebabyreef.com or his facebook page 1000 candles for Baby Reef.

Mr Darryl Jennings from Thabazimbi is embarking on a 1000km trip to raise money and awareness for Baby Reef. The story of Baby Reef was aired on “Good Morning Angels” and the “SMS Reef” campaign was launched.

Everyone sent their sms of R10 but Darryl thought that there must be more that can be done. That is how the 1000km for Baby Reef was founded.

On Friday 27 January 2012, Mr Jennings will leave Thabazimbi on his bicycle to Durban to raise funds for Baby Reef.

The community of Thabazimbi can help by pledging your choice of the following: 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c and so forth. The pledge you make will be multiplied by the amount of kilometres on his clock. For example, 1000km x 10c = R100 or R1 = R1000. By pledging the amount of your choice you are automatically entered into a lucky draw, person that has the correct km reading, wins a week’s accommodation at Atlanta Holiday resort.

His route is as follows: Thabazimbi, Atlanta Holiday Resort, Hartebeespoortdam, Springs, Balfour, Standerton, Volksrust, Newcastle, Dundee, Ladysmith, Escort, Mooi Rivier, Midmar dam, Camperdown and Durban.

Contact Darryl on 083 649 9707 to become a part of this wonderful event.

Baby Reef.