At age 30, Greg Bertish was diagnosed with Endocarditis, which is caused from a bacteria that attacks the heart valves. Tests revealed that his heart was swollen 30% bigger than normal, and his aortic valve was destroyed and almost non-existent. He was rushed in for emergency Open Heart Surgery and the Ross Procedure. In April 2016 Greg Bertish sailed an 8 foot Children’s Optimist dinghy around the Cape of Storms. He crossed False Bay, rounded Cape Point and headed for Langebaan Lagoon on the wild West Coast. His 200-kilometre journey matched the 200 days he had spent in hospital fighting life-threatening heart infections.
He raised R300 000 towards a new Intensive Care Unit at the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. Greg hopes this journey of a REAL Little Optimist and his Children’s book about a little believer with a HUGE heart,will help teach kids that being small, sick, poor or different is OK. And prove that they too can survive and thrive. His story will inspire kids and the world to believe in themselves, get better, be better and follow their passions and dreams.