As May 2024 approaches, designated as Lupus Awareness Month, the Blade Health and Wellness Fitness Club is gearing up for the cycling event scheduled for May 11, 2024.
The Flamingo Casino’s impressive surroundings provided an ideal backdrop for a recent gala dinner organised by the Blade Health and Wellness Fitness Club, established by the dynamic Vuyo Thati.
More than just a celebration of health and fitness, this gala had a philanthropic purpose, seeking to generate awareness and funds for Lupus — a cause that holds a deeply personal significance for Vuyo.
In 2019, Vuyo’s life underwent a transformation as he became aware of the challenges faced by Lupus warriors, thanks to a close friend grappling with the disease. Witnessing the financial hardships associated with Lupus medications, Vuyo felt compelled to take action.
This led to the establishment of the Blade Health and Wellness Fitness Club, designed as a pillar of support. The club provides activities such as aerobics, cycling, and team building, with a specific emphasis on assisting individuals battling Lupus.
The culmination of these efforts materialised in 2023 with the initiation of the Cycling for Lupus Awareness Challenge. The gala dinner was more than just about cycling; it provided a platform for Lupus warriors to share their compelling testimonies, shedding light on the unpredictable and often misunderstood nature of Lupus, an illness that wreaks havoc on various organs, is challenging to diagnose and treat.
The Gala Dinner aimed to emphasise the severity of Lupus symptoms and generate support for those living with the disease.
The spotlight was on systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and other types, such as discoid lupus erythematosus, subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, drug-induced lupus, and neonatal lupus.
As May 2024 approaches, designated as Lupus Awareness Month, the team is gearing up for the cycling event scheduled for May 11, 2024. The launch and exhibition were set for May 10 at the Flamingo Casino, gathering stakeholders to raise awareness.
The goals and objectives of the Lupus Awareness Race were clear – a diverse group of cyclists demonstrating their commitment to Lupus awareness. Two different routes were planned: the Windsorton to Barkly circuit and the Windsorton to Riverton circuit.
The primary purpose of the event was to raise funds for Lupus sufferers who couldn’t afford counselling and medication. The community engagement aspect was crucial, with the Consciousness Advanced Team presenting the awareness programme to local communities. The idea was for each town to own a part of the event, electing team leaders to cheer on cyclists as they passed through.
To make the awareness campaign a success, they need support from businesses and communities. The proposal outlined the need to identify entities and community organisations, communicate through respective communities, present to stakeholders, and secure initial awareness activation funds.
The funding requirements were detailed, covering communication, fuel, airtime, and more. Sponsorship opportunities were available for advertising, marketing, and PR, including visibility in the media and at the event. Various sponsorship packages, such as logo features on cyclists’ shirts and medals, were highlighted, providing businesses and communities a chance to support this noble cause.
Organisers sent out heartfelt thanks to the sponsors who joined hands in this worthy cause: Motorgroup Kimberley, Arb Al-Rashid Butcher, Flamingo Casino, Reefab, Break Away Cycles, Bbb Mojaki Engineering, Alpha Beta Cycles, Sacs in the City, Reflecto, Mr Sandman, Pick N Pay (Galeshewe), Sport, Arts and Culture, Sintu Civil Works, MTN, Moms Munch Box, Sakam, BMW Kimberley, Infinity Graphix, Party and More, DFA, Shell Ultra City Kimberley, Avbob, Oryx Endurance, Office of the Premier, Ministry of Youth Women with Disabilities, Department of Tourism, Ekapa Mining, 32GI and Total Bonjour.
As the event wound down, it was evident that the Gala Dinner was just the beginning of a journey that aimed not only to raise awareness about Lupus but also to make a tangible difference in the lives of those affected by this challenging disease.
The Cycling for Lupus Awareness Challenge is set to be a beacon of hope, uniting communities, businesses, and cyclists in the fight against Lupus.