Welcome to The Rachel Swart Fund
Right from our earliest beginnings in 1960, The Rachel Swart Fund has been inspired by the courage and fortitude of those it serves.
Above all, we identify with disabled people's wish to lead full, active and independent lives – which we help them to achieve by providing motorised wheelchairs and devices for specialised postural support.
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2014 FUNDRAISERS - OLD MUTUAL TWO OCEANS MARATHON (OMTOM)
In 2014 The Rachel Swart Fund partnered with Jeremy Hazell as he took on the courageous task of completing the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in his wheelchair. He is raising funds for our organisation and for Senecio, a non-profit organisation also working to help the disabled. The Rachel Swart Fund invites you to support Jeremy and our two organisations by sponsoring his efforts, with the purpose of raising money to purchase mobility aids.
In addition, the Rachel Swart Fund had a Charity Running Team participating in the 21km Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. Supporters of the 20 runners in our team can also make donations in honour of their efforts in the 2014 Half Marathon.
On Easter Saturday, 19 April 2014, Jeremy Hazell became the first person to complete the 56km Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon (OMTOM) in his regular day wheelchair, fitted only with a third accessory wheel for improved steering and manoevreability. Jeremy completed the event in a time of 6h40m, finishing with 20 minutes to spare before the cutoff time.
Jeremy, 62, was an active outdoorsman and lover of the mountains when he was paralysed in a fall on Table Mountain in 1998. He has been wheelchair bound ever since. After 13 years of inactivity and declining health he was inspired by a Tim Noakes article on the now-famous LCHF (low-carbohydrate high-fat) / Banting diet to revitalise his health and start exercising seriously, losing 30 kg in the process. Fittingly the 56km Ultra Marathon route crisscrosses the Table Mountain chain where Jeremy will challenge his nemesis.
In 2012, Jeremy completed the OMTOM Half Marathon course (21 km), in appallingly wild, wet and windy conditions. In doing so, he raised in excess of R50,000 for Senecio, an organisation which provides support for people with disabilities from underprivileged communities in the Helderberg. Undaunted, Jeremy returned to complete the OMTOM Half Marathon again in 2013. Since then, he has completed a number of other half marathons and events of varying distances, some involving rough and gravelly terrain. A significant highlight, in February 2013, was Jeremy's finishing the full Peninsula Marathon (42 km) in a time of 4h41m. On 16 February 2014 he repeated that feat in much hotter and windier conditions, completing the Peninsula Marathon in 4h38m, thereby qualifying his entry for the Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon in 2014.
During events, Jeremy uses a clip-on third wheel called a FreeWheel, but does not use a racing wheelchair. He participates as a member of the Chaeli Sports & Recreation Club, in their distinctive purple colours.
Jeremy says, "I am inspired by the many disabled people who live out the motto that they prefer to be known for what they can do rather than by what they can't do. I hope, by taking on this crazy challenge, people will donate generously to two very worthy causes, enabling those less fortunate than others of us to access their abilities."
Andisiwe Mtinsilana (16) from Philippi, a pupil at Thembaletu School, was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy. This has resulted in progressive generalised weakness especially in all the limbs. She requires assistance with all self care tasks and transfers.
She used a standard wheelchair, however she was unable to self propel, and therefore was dependent on others for mobility. She needed a motorized chair suited to her specific needs.
Andisiwe is a client at the Western Cape Rehabilitation Centre in Lentegeur, and they unfortunately could not help her with a motorized chair. They submitted an application to the Rachel Swart Fund, who was able to buy a new chair for her, with funding they received from The Australian Aid.
Andisiwe letter of thanks:
I would like to really appreciate the offer /donation you have offered me. Never in my wildest dreams have I thought I would oneday have a motorized wheelchair considering my health and handicapped situation and financial status, it was impossible.
I am now mobile and can move from point-A-to-point-B without trouble. I enjoy driving my bakkie without any assistance hence my body is weak to drive any ordinary wheelchair it is an honour to drive this one as it is so easy too.
I enjoy every ride and feel very comfortable in it. I will feel Indebted to my sponsors for the rest of my life. I feel alive again.