“The Little Optimist” comes to Umkomaas

Greg Bertish with the Singh family.

Multi-talented sportsman, Greg Bertish of Cape Town, was the star attraction at a recent fundraiser for lupus sufferer, Anisha Singh, held in Craigieburn.

An optimist is a small, bathtub-shaped dinghy, used to teach children sailing skills. Barely big enough to accommodate an adult, Greg embarked on an eight day, 200 km journey around the southern tip of Africa, in one of these little crafts.

His beautifully filmed and inspirational documentary chronicled this expedition, undertaken to commemorate the 200 hours Greg spent undergoing intensive medical care after a life-threatening bacterium attacked his heart.

Struck down in the prime of life by this unidentified disease, Greg said that he was close to death, and it was only the sight of a four month old baby, also fighting for his life in the cot next to Greg, that kept him going.

Greg’s message to Anisha, and to all young people facing devastating medical conditions, is never to give up, but to fight their disabilities and to strive to be the best that they can under the circumstances.

The purpose of the fundraiser was to raise money to pay for the physiotherapy that Anisha is currently undergoing. From being completely wheelchair-bound, she can now stand with the aid of a walker, and has managed to walk five metres.

To those who take mobility for granted, this might not seem like much, but to Anisha and her parents, it is a wonderful achievement.

The Singh family, and event co-ordinator, Margery Vice, would like to extend their gratitude to Greg and to the singers and dancers who gave of their time and their talents to entertain the community members who supported the event.

Thank you too, to master of ceremonies, Dees Moodley, who was himself a victim of heart disease.

  AUTHOR
MSCRS Reporter

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