HAMBURG – Fifty year old Joppie Fourie from Oudtshoorn is small in stature but that is hiding the real man in him as he took another step towards his goal, Ten Million Steps for Cancer, along the R72 near Hamburg.
Fourie took the first step of his epic journey, which is expected to last one year, on August 6, 2011 in honour of his late daughter Marlene who passed away three years earlier at the age of 17 from a very aggressive and painful form of bone cancer, Ewing Sarcoma.
Fourie travels by foot pushing a customised hospital bed on wheels and he travels for about 23 kilometres daily.
Fourie’s sole mission of with Ten Million Steps for Cancer is “to inspire cancer patients, create and promote awareness for the suffering brought about by cancer and to raise funds for various needs regarding cancer.”
It is a physical, emotional and spiritual campaign for cancer prevention and awareness.
When meeting Fourie he was ten kilometres from the Hamburg turn off on the R72 walking towards Port Alfred.
“I must be in Port Alfred by Tuesday,” he said.
His 5 100 kilometres long trip, which started in Oudtshoorn and will also end there, will take him to 113 towns and last for about a year during which time he would have taken about Ten Million Steps for Cancer.
Fourie’s marathon walk in aid of cancer will include visits to oncology units, hospitals, mayors, cancer patients and cancer interim houses in the towns that he visits.
He will also do motivational talks and visit community and national radio stations in various towns on his way.
“By doing the Ten Million Steps for Cancer I wish to share and demonstrate the tough road that those who are suffering from cancer are on daily. This project is my passion and lies very close to my heart. I know from experience what people and their families go through when a person suffers from cancer and would love to make a difference to all of them.”
Fourie has also lost his wife to cancer.
Ewing sarcoma is a malignant round-cell tumour and is extremely rare, so rare that in 2009 only six children were diagnosed with the illness, none that have survived.
The cancer cells are found in the bone or in soft tissue, mostly in the pelvis, the femur, the humerus, the ribs and clavicle.
Ewing sarcoma is also an extremely painful form of cancer.
For Fourie to achieve his goal, the project will solely depend on help, sponsorships and material support from the business, public and private sector.
Ten Million Steps for Cancer visualize raising funds for various needs regarding cancer, to inspire cancer patients and to create awareness for the importance of a healthy lifestyle in the fight against cancer.
The Ten Million Steps for Cancer is a charity project and funds will be raised for cancer support and research services. Oudtshoorn, Fourie’s home town is also home to the Ten Million Steps for Cancer Trust.
“Since we never know who will be next, everyone is affected by the quest for a sustainable and successful campaign against the slumbering cancer murderer that appears untimely and in many disguises,” Fourie said.
For donations to the trust here are their banking details.
Directly for the Trust – ABSA, Account number: 926 4551 428 – Beneficiary: Ten Million Steps for Cancer Trust or;
Running cost of project: ABSA, Account number: 925 9933 348 – Beneficiary: Ten Million Steps for Cancer.
The ABSA Swift code for overseas donators is ABSAJJ and address of the bank is 66 High Street, Oudtshoorn, 6625.
For more info see http://www.tenmillionstepsforcancer.org.za