LANGEBAAN:- The 200 kilometres and R200 000 he plans to raise through his adventure are symbolic of the 200 days he spent in hospital between 2001 and 2007.


“It’s not about the speed and how fast my Little Optimist gets there, as most say he will fail. It’s about trying and believing in yourself enough to know you can succeed or recover from anything.”

The money will go to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital Trust to assist them in building a new Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, saving the lives of thousands of critically ill or injured children. Thanks to the donations of friends and family and corporate sponsors like Warwick Wealth the journey was made possible. If you wish to contribute to building the Red Cross Hospital’s new PICU through Greg’s campaign, you can visit or follow him on Facebook or Twitter @gregbertish.

Who is Greg Bertish?The Little Optimist_FINAL STOP

Greg Bertish is an ocean lover, humanitarian and father of two from Cape Town. He is also an open heart surgery and endocarditis survivor. Between 2001 and 2007, Greg spent a total of 200 days in hospital fighting an undiagnosed and incurable tropical bacteria that attacked his heart valves on three separate occasions. Greg has always been incredibly active. From a very young age he learnt to surf and sail and went onto compete in lifesaving and eventually represented SA at the World Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) Championships.

Nine years later Greg’s infection remains in remission and he now dedicates his time to inspiring hope in young children facing and recovering from dread diseases, operations and hardships. He set up and manages a website called and continues to work with the Children’s Hospital Trust and Red Cross Hospital to raise funds and awareness.

Greg is also the founder of the Sharkspotters initiative started in Cape Town in 2004 and currently serves as the President of the Clifton Surf Lifesaving Club. ,

More about Little OptimistGreg_NSRI Station 4_Sheldon

Bertish has written an animated children’s book called the Little Optimist, which he hopes will inspire kids to achieve their dreams. Profits from book, on sale from November this year, will be donated to the Red Cross Children’s Hospital Trust. He hopes the books will inspire, teach life lessons, water safety, and ocean conservation. Further down the line Bertish foresees an annual Great Optimist Race and a sailing programme for sick children to raise even more funds, create a passion and inspire hope.


About the Red Cross Children’s Hospital

The Hospital holds the largest PICU in Africa. Children in need of specialised critical care are referred from all over the continent, yet this vital unit only has 22 of the 26 ICU beds set aside for children across public and private sectors in the Western Cape Province. This facility also provides emergency care for little patients from around South Africa as well as other African countries.

This PICU is in serious need of an upgrade and expansion to increase bed capacity, develop a high care unit for neonatal patients as well as establish isolation cubicles. The high care unit and the isolation cubicles will ensure optimal treatment through better infection control, which is critical in ICU. Increased capacity will also mean a comfortable space for overworked staff and anxious parents.

For more information about this press release, photos or interviews please contact Gwen Sparks from Enhance PR on 0834430019 or email