Bikers: Help fund marrow transplant!

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IOL mot pic aug28 Dirkie de Villiers 1 . Dirkie de Villiers desperately needs a bone marrow transplant.

Dirkie de Villiers comes from a motorcycling family - he's lived and breathed bikes all his life and 2008 he started his 'dream job' as an apprentice technician at KTM Cape Town.

Less than a year later, however, at the age of 21, De Villiers was diagnosed with aggressive Stage IV Adult Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph glands) and leukemia.

By the time it was diagnosed the cancer had spread throughout his body and, after chemotherapy, De Villiers also needed a bone marrow transplant. The SA Bone Marrow Registry was unable to find a match in South Africa, and the marrow had to be obtained from a donor in the United States at a cost of about R900 000.

De Villiers finally went back to work in January this year, but suffered a relapse in April. After chemotherapy he's in remission again, but urgently needs another bone marrow transplant.

R300 000 SHORTFALL

His medical aid covers chemotherapy, but only a small portion of the cost of the transplant and nothing at all towards the cost of harvesting the donor marrow in the Unites States (R196 250, of which R50 000 was payable upfront to the SA Bone Marrow Registry) or transporting the marrow to Cape Town (that cost R60 000 in 2009). The family's reserves were wiped out by previous transplant, leaving them with a shortfall of about R300 000 to cover this one.

De Villiers' family, his friends and his customers at KTM are all keen off-road riders, so the family and the westwern Province Motocross Club have organised a Benefit Enduro Race Day on Saturday 15 September at the Melkbos 4x4 circuit to raise funds.

DADS ‘n KIDS

There will be events for amateur and professional riders, quad riders and even a special 'Dad and Kid' event, open to any two-person team of which one member is the other member's parent.

There will also be stunts, bike and quad games, raffles and give-aways, stalls (not all bike-related!) food, music and entertainment for children too young to ride.

Registration will open at 7.30am and entry will be R150 for riders and R40 for spectators (R20 if you're under 18) and the family will welcome any donations in cash or kind, for which they would be willing to advertise your company on the day.

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