As you all know I have raised some money in the past for breast cancer awareness and support groups in South Africa, so it was with surprise that the credit card I was speaking about yesterday, being offered to women by Standard Bank, will give you R10 000 if you happen to be diagnosed by any of the cancers which plague women of today. I thought this was quite generous especially given that Monday is Woman’s Day, in commemoration of the 20,000 women who marched on the Union Buildings in Pretoria in 1956 – to protest against the ‘pass’ laws and amendments to the Urban Area’s Act.
As I have written about before, many women in South Africa either don’t have adequate access to health care or they are not educated about early detection of treatable diseases like breast cancer – so I do congratulate Standard Bank in at least making some effort in showing their support in this regard. MyCard also offers 24-hour roadside assistance and access to doctors, councilors and therapists via a toll-free hotline AND (this is the one I really like) a handyman service for all those things which we would rather not do – like drilling and moving heavy things around.
I think it is about time that a product aimed specifically at women only is being introduced – it is also a fantastic branding exercise given that I (the target market) am completely sold on the product 🙂
I have a little confession to make… I am an absolute slave to competitions! I will enter anything which involves winning money, travel, spa treatments – I don’t discriminate 🙂 So when I heard that Standard Bank was running a campaign for a new credit card, specifically for women (I was in the market for a new credit card anyway), I jumped at the opportunity because all successful applicants stand a chance of winning R50 000!!!
Of course now that I have applied I catch myself wondering what I’d spend the money on and as I’m sure you can all guess, it includes running somewhere new and exciting. So this is what I would like to do, if I had the time and money to do it and who knows, perhaps by stating it it might come true…
There is a Pilgrimage which people do in Spain called El Camino de Santiago (Road to Santiago or St James’ Way). The distance varies depending on where you start but the longest route is around 800km and if you walk, should take a month – I however, would like to run… There would be a fair amount of planning involved although accommodation is usually very cheap or even free along the way. Food can be bought in the various towns which the trail goes through and so all that needs to be carried is clothes and water.
Who would like to join me?? Where would you run if time and money wasn’t a limiting factor?
Boobs, breasts, numbies, jugs, tits, udders – we all have different names for those two mounds on every woman’s chest. They are regularly spoken about in the running world because for some women, restraining them can be a bit of a mission – luckily I don’t have that problem, my pre-pubescent boy’s body makes sure there is no movement on my chest area – ever! Sport’s bra, running bra and over-shoulder-boulder-holders are hotly contested subjects on forums and blogs and that is just in the running world!! I’m not even going to delve into the dark underworld of the mans mind when it comes to mammary glands.
Either way there is one thing which is guaranteed, you either have breasts of your own, have access to breasts and have almost certainly suckled on breasts in your lifetime – so just imagine finding out that these sometimes flattering, sometimes the object of your lust are effectively the cause of your sickness or even death… I know its a less than savory subject to talk about, but it is for just this reason that there are so many women out there that are uneducated on the seriousness of this disease, which can be checked for and any irregularity found early on and treated.
The Pink Drive aims to educate women and provide mobile mammogram units to those who either don’t have access to medical facilities or who have never thought to have lumps in their breasts checked. This campaign is vitally important if we are going to keep the women behind each set of breasts alive and well to keep caring and nurturing the generations to come.
So, if you would like to show your support then go to my Pink Drive tab and donate some money – then comment on my blog, my wall on Facebook or send me an email so that I know who to think about while I run the 89km from Pietermaritzburg to Durban on May 30th, clad in pink!!
As most of you know, every year I raise money for a particular cause with running the Comrades Marathon – last year you guys helped pay for some children to be able to attend school, the year before you helped raise money for Reach For Recovery – an organisation dedicated to helping women suffering from breast cancer.
This year I will be running in pink socks with a pink wrist band and pink shoelaces for the Pink Drive. This organisation raises funds to finance mobile mammogram and breast cancer educational units which visit the rural areas, bringing these services to women who would otherwise not be able to afford it, or who haven’t realised the seriousness of this disease yet.
Breast cancer is the leading cause of death for many South African women even though the treatment is so incredibly effective. Mis-diagnosis, late diagnosis and lack of education are to blame for this which is why a mobile mammogram and educational unit is so important.
Reebok is donating money to the Pink Drive for every runner they see coming into the Kingsmead Stadium wearing pink gear. You can donate by SMS’ing ‘breast’ to 36560, this will send 50c to the Pink Drive. If you are feeling generous then head to the Pink Drive tab on my site for their banking details. If you would like to run for this cause please let me know and I’ll put you in touch with the organisers.
There are some fun things for spectators too, if you are going to be in the Newcastle, Pietermaritzburg or Durban areas supporting your runners then you can also play a part in this drive for awareness, details are here or you can just email me and I’ll put you in touch with the relevant people.
Early detection saves lives so lets band together and all play a part in helping save lives!!
Anyone running the NYC half marathon in March 2010??
If you are and you would like to run for a cause but just haven’t managed to find one, then you should consider the Fresh Air Fund. I’ve written about them before here and I think the work they do is amazing.
If you are interested then email me or get in touch with them through their website – I’d of course love to be there to run but with only 3 months to save enough money to get there, I don’t think it will be a possibility – this year anyway 🙂
For those of you who have been here from the start, you will remember igiveada.mn and its founder Andy. They were the guys I used for my first Comrades Marathon fund raising activities, to help consolidate international donations for Reach For Recovery. Basically igiveada.mn was a networking site where you could recommend a cause and the people in the network would support you and send the word around. This sounds like any social networking site but the reason it worked for me was because as South Africans, PayPal won’t allow us to receive money into a PayPal account – why I have no idea, but igiveada.mn bridged this gap which meant I was able to recieve international donations from all my friends overseas via PayPal through igiveada.mn
After chatting to Andy about using the igiveada.mn service again this year, I was sad to hear that he had put the project on the backburner because of a lack of support – BUT igiveada.mn is back and this time all the focus is on one project!!
Andy and a bunch of mates are coming out from the UK for a building project on the Wild Coast – an exquisite piece of coastline in South Africa. The details are not finalised yet but the project is to build a house near to a small local hospital which will house the much needed doctors and nurses which serve this community.
I think it is a wonderful project but at the moment it is entirely self-funded. If you would like to get involved please read more about it here and if you are keen to help in any way then get hold of Andy and let him know.
I was contacted the other day by Sara from The Fresh Air Fund in the USA who brought my attention to this really great cause. The Fresh Air Fund provides free summer camp holidays to children from families in New York City, who can’t afford to send their kids to camp or on holiday during their school break.
What really intrigued me about the initiative however is that they have a team of runners who are doing the New York City half-marathon, to help raise funds and awareness of this program. As you all know I’m all about using an event for something good, so if any of you are doing this race (its in on August 16th) and would like to run for a cause then sign up. Of course if I was in the USA I’d be doing it AND I’d gladly run for the Fresh Air Fund!
Good luck guys!!
It seems the final numbers are in…
All pledges were honoured and with Ryan’s efforts in Canada coupled with mine, it seems we have managed to raise about R10 860 – that’s 17 kids whose school fees will be paid up for the entire year!!
I also want to thank a few people who had a huge impact on this little endeavour of mine:
- Everyone who was so generous and managed to spare some cash, especially since we’re all feeling rather pinched at the moment – Ryan’s friends (you know who you are), Shaun & Nicola, Ariane & Mdu, Brendan & Rebecca, Andy Duncan, Collin Budge and Russel Mackintosh (Russ was the one who said he’d double his pledge if I beat him, I came in 8 minutes after him!!).
- Ryan, for your enthusiasm and encouragement
- Craig for running the whole way with me and waiting for me when I needed to make pit-stops, that is what I call running-friend-loyalty!!
- Dad for maintaining your title of Worlds Best Second
- Mom for being my greatest fan and for all your support
- Barry for flying down to surprise me on the route (and for sending all the race updates on Twitter) – sorry I couldn’t stop and chat 🙂
- Stuart the bus driver who did a fantastic job of getting us all over the finish line in under 11 hours
Thanks to everyone who donated, wished us well, followed us on the day, sat through blow-by-blow accounts of the race and supported us every step of the way.
I’m thrilled with the positive response I’ve had regarding this project, I’ll keep everyone updated from time to time on how the little guys and girls in Red Hill informal settlement are doing.
Ok everyone so we are within a day of the Comrades Marathon and I’m about to head off to Durban. If you want to keep track of me you can find out here.
I (ok not me, but someone who I’ve asked) will be updating my Twitter and Facebook status with my progress. I’m not sure how much time I’m going to have this afternoon so if I don’t manage to get online – See you at the end!!!
So in my post about Running Charity partnerships, I told you about my friend Ryan over in Canada joining forces with me in raising money to send some kids to school. Today I got the final amount he was able to raise – CAD 1,155 which is around R8,400 which translates to almost 13 kids, YES that is 13 children who will now be able to go to school because of Ryan, which brings the total to about 19 children in our efforts so far!!!
Thanks everyone who has donated up until now and for those of you still contemplating it, here is some motivation…
Yip, looks different from this angle...