Four veteran walkers Donovan Joubert, Malcolm Johnson, Thomas Michael and Cliff Beautement, hailing from the Western Cape will embark on the second Mercy Marathon from Richards Bay (KZN) to Cape Town on Saturday, 02 February 2013 in aid of the SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service (AMS). The avid walkers are aged between 42 and 78. They have been training for the last couple of months to be ready for this challenge. The Mercy Marathon will take approximately a month to complete, with the walk finishing in Cape Town on the 10th of March 2013. Some of the towns they will pass through enroute include, Stanger, Harrismith, Trompsburg, Colesberg, Willowmore and Caledon to mention a few.
The objective of the walk is to raise awareness and funds for the AMS, a non-profit aero-medical organisation operating in the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Free State Provinces. The AMS provides an air ambulance network, rural health outreach and emergency rescue service to metropolitan areas and remote rural communities in partnership with the various Provincial Departments of Health. The Air Ambulance service complements the local road ambulance services by providing rapid emergency aero-medical transportation of patients who are critically ill or injured. The Rescue Service provides specialised medical, mountain and surf rescue services, working closely with local METRO and affiliated rescue organisations. The flying doctor rural health outreach service provides delivery of appropriate and effective healthcare to rural communities, by flying specialists many of whom are volunteers as well as support personnel to outlying hospitals. This service is operational in KwaZulu-Natal and has also extended to include ground support units to access areas that have limited access by aircraft. The ground support vehicle is also used to get to hospitals which are in close proximity to doctor’s supply. During the last financial year the KwaZulu-Natal outreach programme provided specialists support to more than 15 000 patients.
“We thank the walkers for their commitment in helping us raise awareness of the AMS, also their families for allowing them to do so. We wish them all the best on their journey and safe travels. May you continue to keep the AMS flag flying high” said Dr. Philip Erasmus CEO of the AMS. “Thank you to all the sponsors and supporters that has and will come onboard in assisting us” concluded Erasmus.
We invite the public to join the team for a kilometre or two, a wave and a hoot will also do when passing the walkers.
Image courtesy: Roger Sedres, ImageSA