Epic ride to support severe burn victims

Published Sep 29, 2021


By: Motoring correspondent

Durban - The instant, shocking pain of a burn from picking up a dish off the stove or accidentally touching the braai grid or, indeed, any of the thousands of ways in which people can inflict minor burns on themselves pale into insignificance against the more than 1-million people in Africa who suffer severe burns each year.

Burns are the third most common cause of accidental deaths amongst children under 14 years in South Africa. Burns are more than a burning sensation experienced with the injury and are usually associated with severe skin damage that causes the affected skin cells to die.

Most people can recover from burns, however serious burns require immediate emergency medical care to prevent complications and death. Unfortunately, this kind of emergency medical care as well as the post trauma medical treatment is long and comes at huge financial expense!

Raising some of the funds needed to assist burn victims is the aim of Burn Run in association with the HeroBurn Foundation.

BurnRun, organized by Leon Garbade, is an event that will see participants, supported by a backup team, travel from Port Shepstone, Kwa-Zulu Natal to Jeffreys Bay in the Eastern Cape, to raise awareness and much needed funds for burn survivors.

The route will be along dirt roads (where possible), enduring a 6-day trip to get there. Total distance is 1 230km, and this should take 30 hours of riding. The participants will be using dual sport bikes, dirt bikes, unconventional vehicles and in many instances, unconventional roads.

The 1230km route sticks to unconventional roads, where possible.

This year will see the inclusion of 50 paying participants, all increasing the fundraising potential for HeroBurn.

BurnRun founder Leon Garbade says. “I was inspired by a friend who was severely burnt to try do more for burn survivors and also raise the awareness in the communities through which we travel”

Annerie du Plooy, herself a burn victim, started a journey of supporting others in their time of need but, after a few years she realised by being the anchor for so many other burn survivors the foundation has become a platform through which survivors can pay it forward after receiving much deserved support.

Providing burn awareness training at schools along the route.

It became her life mission to support and care for people after a burn trauma. Hero Burn Foundation (a non-profit organisation now also registered as a public benefit organisation) has gone from strength to strength and to date has helped approximately 400 heroes in one way or another.

It is her dream to create a total burn care solution in South Africa that will not only include a dedicated burn hospital, but also a holistic rehabilitation program, research and development facilities and accommodation for any family that has to put their lives on hold for months on end. This will revolutionise burn care for all in South Africa.

So, from 22 – 27 April these everyday people will endure an epic challenge of 7 days of dirt riding to try make a difference and to raise awareness of those affected by burns. Support them by following live daily updates of each rider and donating, no matter how big or how small at www.burnrun.co.za. For more information, please contact Leon at: [email protected]