Hiking group raises funds for Groote Schuur surgeries

Hike2Heal has a send-off at Groote Schuur Hospital, last week, ahead of the hiking group’s Otter Trail trip. From left, are Gift of the Givers member Naeem Kathrada; Hike2Heal members, Zunaid Khatieb, Abdus-Sataar Dhansay, Ismail Dhansay, Dr Allie Rawoot and Hayder Dhansay; executive director of Groote Schuur Hospital Trust Kristy Evans and, crouching, Hike2Heal members Mughasien Parker and Zaheer Parker.

A newly formed hiking group, Hike2Heal, is raising money to help Groote Schuur Hospital catch up with surgeries that it had to delay because of the pandemic.

Hike2Heal has members from all over Cape Town, as well as two members from the UK who joined the group on a five-day-long hike on the Otter Trail, starting on Saturday February 26 and finishing on Wednesday March 2.

The 45km Otter Trail runs along the southern coast of the Tsitsikamma National Park, on the Western Cape’s Garden route.

Hike2Heal member Zaheer Parker said they were inspired by Gift of the Givers, which has already donated R5 million to Groote Schuur’s efforts to deal with the backlog of surgeries.

According to Mr Parker, the group’s slogan is “Using our health so that others can heal.”

The hospital hopes to raise R15 million for the surgical-recovery project that will see it create more space for surgical theatres and hire extra staff.

“We are hoping to do between 1500 to 2000 operations per year to deserving patients,” said Professor Lydia Cairncross, Groote Schuur’s head of surgery, adding that for every R10 000 they could do one operation. (“NGO helps Groote Schuur catch up with surgeries,” Southern Suburbs Tatler, January 27)

“Even though people are tired of Covid-19, there are many more people that are still waiting for operations, which had to be put aside while the hospital was dealing with a worldwide pandemic.”

Naeem Kathrada, from Gift of the Givers, urged the hiking group to “continue to spread the positive message in helping the hospital so that we can make this as an example throughout the country that we can make this difference”.

Groote Schuur Hospital Trust executive director Kristy Evans praised the group for helping the hospital and said the trust had raised R600 000 since the launch of the surgical-recovery project at the end of January to add to the R5 million from Gift of the Givers.

Mr Parker said Hike2Heal had raised R200 000 even before leaving for the Otter Trail.

For more information, visit @hike2_heal on Instagram, or the hospital trust’s website at www.gshtrust.co.za. Or call Kristy Evans, at 073 406 7920.