Raqeeb Palm had his dream fulfilled.
Raqeeb Palm had his dream fulfilled.

Support Slipper Day and help children reach for their dreams

By Siyabonga Kalipa Time of article published Apr 10, 2021

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Cape Town - Two children with illnesses that have changed their lives have had their dreams fulfilled.

With its annual Slipper Day, Reach For A Dream is hoping to fulfil the dreams of more children.

Slipper Day will be taking place in May this year, under the theme ’Not all Heroes Wear Capes’.

The organisation’s chief executive, Julia Sotirianakos, said to do the work they do was special and it was a daily reminder that more hope is needed in the world.

“This Slipper Day promises to echo the hearts of all our heroes, and why it is so important for South Africans to come together and believe in the power of dreams and, more so, what this means for a child sick in hospital,” said Sotirianakos.

Raqeeb Palm, 7, from Heideveld, was diagnosed with Idiopathic Aplastic Anaemia - which is a bone marrow failure - when he was three years old.

His mother, Zaida Palm, said they had noticed unusual bruising on his body which looked like pimples, only to discover he was bleeding under the skin.

“Since he had a compromised immune system he could not go anywhere, and I find it ironic that he used to live the way we have come to live now with the pandemic because he could not go anywhere, and when we went out he had his mask on,” she said.

However, she said he was much better now, even though he needed a bone marrow transplant, which he has not yet had.

Zaida said Raqeeb loved Mickey Mouse and Disney characters and it was always his dream to go to Disneyland.

“A week before we were supposed to go to the US, Covid-19 hit us and we could no longer go. He was disappointed a bit, but was cheered up when Reach for a Dream brought him a PS4 console,” she said.

Zaida added that now she can’t take him off his video game.

Eathan Amsterdam was recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma, which is a type of bone cancer that begins in the cells that form bones.

He said he was very calm when he found out he had the illness.

“I was not scared at all when the doctor diagnosed me, I was normal,” he said.

He said at the moment he couldn’t go to school because he was using a wheelchair and crutches to get around.

Eathan said his dream had always been to own an X-box console because he would get to play his favourite games.

“I was very happy when I received the X-box. I always wanted to own one; now I’m able to play with my friends,” he said.

He added that he would like Reach for a Dream to help other children as well to make them feel happy.

His mother Nadia Amsterdam said he was not born with this condition, and that they only found out about it this year.

“When I asked him after he had been diagnosed, he said he was fine. He accepted his condition because he is strong. And I was more happy than him that his dream was realised because I’m a single mother and I could not afford one (X-box),” she said.

The organisation will be hosting the Slipper Day fundraiser next month.

Slipper Day support stickers will be available at all retail store partners.

Weekend Argus

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