Vamika Moodley, left, with her mom Pradeshini, dad Santhosh and siblings Shrika and Liam.

Durban - Pradeshni Moodley was seated at her daughter’s bedside while she received treatment for lupus, praying that her child’s condition would improve.

Just then, a team of volunteers from Reach for a Dream walked into the ward, spreading cheer not only to the sick children, but also to their parents and families.

Moodley’s youngest daughter, Shrika, 10, was diagnosed with lupus in 2012.

A few months later, her older daughter, Vamika, 13, was also diagnosed with the disease.

“Shrika was only 6 when she was diagnosed with lupus. She complained of severe pains in her joints, and her ankles began to swell. She also had a red spot on her nose.”

Concerned, Moodley, 36, a sales consultant, sought advice from her daughter’s paediatrician.

“She was admitted at Kingsway Hospital and underwent blood tests. A week later, the results confirmed she had lupus.”

Moodley and her husband, Santosh, 41, a customer service manager, were dealt another blow a few months later when Vamika fell ill.

“She complained about stomach cramps and was booked into the hospital for an endoscopy. The doctor also ran blood tests and we were told that she, too, had lupus.”

Moodley described the past few years as erratic.

“The lupus is affecting their kidneys and both girls are on chronic medication. They take more than 20 tablets a day,” she said.

“Their legs swell, and as a result they are unable to walk. Vamika is currently in a stable condition, but Shrika is undergoing chemotherapy.”

Moodley, who also has a 5-year-old son, Liam, said they were constantly in and out of hospital.

“When the volunteers of Reach for a Dream came into the ward, their presence and smiles lit up the room. A volunteer chatted to me about the organisation and how they helped children in need.”

She said Shrika wanted an X-Box and to visit uShaka Marine World, and received both.

“Vamika wanted to go to the Wild Coast Sun for a holiday, and her dream was also realised.

“At the time we were in and out of hospital, so these trips and a change of environment helped us de-stress.”

She said Reach for a Dream had paid for everything.