Ribbon of hope at Red Cross

Childrens Hospital Trust ambassador Zoe Brown welcomes former child patient, Blaze Pheiffer, who told how the hospital helped her.

The Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital started its “Leave Your Mark on Life” campaign last Friday to raise funds for the upgrade of its emergency centre.

A 200m-long red ribbon was stretched from Kromboom Parkway to Milner Road and it will bear messages of hope from, among others, past patients, schools and organisations.

The ribbon will stay on the hospital fence for the next four months.

The Children’s Hospital Trust chief executive officer Chantel Cooper invited the public to paint their messages of hope on the ribbon.

“As the hospital serves the community, the community can come to the hospital and leave their mark on life,” she said.

The hospital is trying to raise R150 million by 2020 for various projects, including the upgrading of the emergency centre.

Ms Cooper said R78 million had been raised so far.

The hospital’s new ambassador, Gary Gold, said the work going into the hospital’s upliftment would “make it one of the greatest children’s hospitals in the world”.

Mr Gold, a former Springbok assistant coach who now coaches the American rugby team, said security, health and education were the cornerstones of a strong country and the children’s hospital had a vital role to play.

Television and radio personality Zoe Brown said the initiative was all the more special coming at a time when the country celebrated its youth. “With an institution like the Red Cross Hospital being able to care for children and get them to health and out of the hospital, they can leave their mark on life.”

Blaze Pheiffer,12, who underwent a liver and kidney transplant at the hospital after being diagnosed with liver cirrhosis at 4, said: “I want to say thank you to the Red Cross doctors, and I want to share a huge thanks and gratitude to my donor family. My donor’s family saved a life and gave someone else an opportunity to live.”

Her mother, Michelle Koopman, said: “There is no other hospitals that takes care of sick children like this hospital does.”

Hospital CEO Dr Matodzi Mukosi said the work between the Children’s Hospital Trust and the hospital benefited many children.

SMS, “Life,” to 40465 to donate R30 or visit www.childrenshospitaltrust.org.za/leave_yourmark/ to donate.