Home Sport Glow-in-the-dark charity event a blessing for young Wico

Glow-in-the-dark charity event a blessing for young Wico

228

The event featured a 5-kilometre fun run/walk and 30- and 60-kilometre cycle routes, attracting participants from near and far to support a noble cause.

Finalists for Mr. and Miss Diamantveld High School, FJ de Vries, and Morgyn Geyer recently hosted a glow-in-the-dark charity event at Rooifontein Farm. As part of their charity event, they decided to raise fund for Wico Vlok, a young boy from Prieska. Picture: Danie van der Lith

IN A HEARTWARMING display of compassion and community spirit, two of the finalists for Mr. and Miss Diamantveld High School, Morgyn Geyer and FJ de Vries, recently hosted a glow-in-the-dark charity event at Rooifontein Farm.

The event featured a 5-kilometre fun run/walk and 30- and 60-kilometre cycle routes, attracting participants from near and far to support a noble cause.

The DFA had the opportunity to speak with Geyer and de Vries about their motivation for organising the event. They revealed that they were inspired to help after hearing about a young boy named Wico Vlok from Prieska.

Wico, a seven-year-old boy, was born in Upington in 2016. His condition means that he requires leg braces and a nerve stimulator, with total costs amounting to around R 100,000.

Seven year old Wico Vlok from Prieska. Picture: Supplied

He was diagnosed with Spina Bifida, resulting in a range of physical challenges.

“When we heard about Wico and what he needed, we knew that he would be one of the charities we would assist,” said Geyer.

Shortly after his birth, Wico was flown to Bloemfontein for urgent medical treatment. Four days after his birth, he underwent a major operation to close an opening in his back, and shortly thereafter, he had another operation to install a cerebral shunt to treat hydrocephalus — a condition where fluid accumulates in the brain.

Spina bifida is a neural tube defect where the neural tube fails to close completely, affecting the spinal cord and the spine’s development. Wico has the most severe form, myelomeningocele, where part of the spinal cord protrudes through the back, leading to significant mobility issues and a risk of infection.

Despite these challenges, Wico has shown remarkable resilience. At two years old, he underwent another significant surgery to relieve pressure on his brain. He currently manages his bladder with a catheter and receives substantial support from his mother, Christelle Vlok, who is also his carer.

Christelle expressed her gratitude for the community’s support and detailed the daily struggles Wico faces, especially in a small town like Prieska, which lacks wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Meanwhile, the glow-in-the-dark event was a tremendous success, raising R16,665 through the participation of 190 entrants. The funds will go towards purchasing the nerve stimulator for Wico, with hopes that the device will enable him to stand independently.

The event would not have been possible without the generous support of sponsors, including Alpha Beta Cycles, Break-Away Cycles, OK Food Towers, Venison and Veg, Christo Vermeulen for the jumping castles, and the Northern Cape Ex-Servicemen Club.

Geyer and de Vries extended their heartfelt thanks to these sponsors, as well as to the participants who braved the dark to run and cycle for a cause.

Christelle expressed profound gratitude to the event organisers, stating, “They contacted me out of the blue and told me they wanted to raise funds for Wico. We are so grateful for what they have done.”

According to Wico’s mom, the funds raised will significantly alleviate the financial burden on the Vlok family and bring them one step closer to improving Wico’s quality of life.

As the community rallied together for this event, it became clear that the spirit of compassion and support is alive and well, making a real difference in the life of a young boy who dreams of playing sports and interacting with his friends like any other child.

Previous articleEagerly awaiting my 6000 salary cheques
Next articleHigh energy on show in Women’s Soccer League