Greg Bertish was a shy and insecure kid, who believed he would never amount to much. At school he was a poor student and was bullied. As a teenager he had bad acne and no self-confidence. But Greg always had a huge heart, and loved helping animals and people in need. A few key moment and people in his life, helped him find confidence, grow optimism and become a leader and inspiring adult.

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Later he spent nearly 200 days in hospital (almost 100 days in 2007 alone). During this time he was sick, misdiagnosed, operated on, had IV drips 24/7, and at stages was offered no hope or cure. He used visualisation, optimism and his passion for the ocean and life to overcome, survive and get out of hospital. He  was lucky, he had something to live for! “  

In April 2016, as a middle aged, multiple cardiac surgery survivor, on the blood thinner warfarin, he sailed a tiny children’s Optimist dinghy over 200 Km in the open ocean. This represented each day he had  spent in hospital. The aim was to show people that small people can do Huge things.  He inspired patients,  kids and others to never ever give up, and he raised over ZAR 300 000 ( $23 000) for The New ICU at Red Cross Children’s Hospital and later went on to help rase over ZAR1 Million  ( $77000) to renovate and paint it.  The Little Optimist Trust now renovates and paints under resourced health and education facilities all over South Africa.

As a multiple heart surgery survivor, Greg has gone on to be an award nominated big wave surfer, a South African champion LifeSaver and a Springbok Stand Up Paddle Boarder when he represented his country at The world Champs in Peru in 2012. He co- founded the internationally acclaimed Shark Spotter Program in 2004 and founded the Little Optimist Trust in 2017.

Core Values

How to Support Us?

Help the Little Optimist to help others by purchasing a book or watching the Cartoon Movie or the Documentary film.

For each BOOK or MOVIE bought or downloaded – we Donate a Little Optimist hard cover Book to a Child in Need in South Africa

From as little as ZAR75 ($5)   you can;  be Inspired yourself, inspire your kids;  and help marginalised and at risk children.


Help us help more children!

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