In 2002, at age 31, I underwent open heart surgery to remove an un-diagnosed & un-culturable tropical bacteria, that had attacked my Aortic Heart Valve. It took me a year of rehab to recover. I lost my taste and smell, as well as some speech and cognitive skills due to the lengthy operation & complications. I fought back, to be just “FINE” again, and to be the person I was before. It came back in 2006, and after another surgery, re-infections and over 100 days in hospital I beat it again. I used positive thought, meditation, research and training to change the Perceived Reality of a heart patient and became an even better person and athlete.
The Shark Spotting Programme is the only program of its kind in the world. It attempts to balance the needs of both people and white shark conservation by pro-actively reducing the interaction and conflict between recreational water users and sharks. Cape Town has, over the last few years, experienced an increase in the number of great white sharks sighted in the in-shore zone. In response to these events and the increased fear by water users, particularly in False Bay, two community driven programmes were started out of a need to improve the safety of recreational water users.
The amalgamation of these two initiatives resulted in the Shark Spotters programme.
PADDLE4PRESENTS ANNUAL EVENT
Paddle4Presents is a fundraiser to collect presents and much needed supplies and basic items for the Children Of The Red Cross Hospital. It takes place at the end of each year and is a charity event for all Stand Up Paddle Boarders in Cape Town / Durban / Johannesburg. The event caters for both professionals and those who have never SUPed before, as well as families and children, with amazing lucky-draws and a variety of food.
SHARKSPOTTERS & CHILDRENS HOSPITAL FUNDRAISER
The exhibition and auction were a huge success with over R65 000 raised for the Sharkspotters and over a 100 photos that will be donated to local childrens hospitals. There were photographs in the auction going for R7000 to R10 000 which is just unbelievable
THE LITTLE OPTIMIST 24HOUR FUNDRAISER
Raising R24 361.15, Greg Bertish, big wave surfer and previous Stand Up Paddle Board and Lifesaving National Surf Ski champion, lasted 24 hours in his little Opi in a paddling pool at the V&A Waterfront on 4 and 5 March. In total, he aims to raise R200 000 to -contribute to building a bigger and better Paediatric ICU at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.
“It was a long night in the little Opi, but it was completely worth it to show just what we are capable of achieving when we put our minds to it. I believe that together with the Children’s Hospital Trust, we are capable of raising R10 million over the next four months to complete the R100 million-plus expansion and upgrade of the ICU,” says Greg Bertish.