The Cows are all about FUNdraising for CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation and supporting children with cancer. They represent people with a passion for life and a desire to support initiatives that make a difference. The energy of the herd is infectious and with the motto ‘Love Living Life’, there is no stopping the stampede. The Cows guarantee plenty of FUN in their fundraising challenges.
A Cow is a swimmer in cow print costume, or a cyclist in cow print cycle gear, top and shorts, or a runner in cow print running gear, top and shorts, or a triathlete in cow print tri-gear, or anyone who chooses a sporting challenge and wears cow print gear, or anyone who want to raise funds for The Cows in any way. In other words, ANYONE can be a Cow!
The Cows were started in 2008 by a group of eight enthusiastic cyclists keen to make a difference by raising funds for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation. The founder members joined Kerrin and Grant Bain in cycling the 947 Cycle Challenge in memory of their 20-month-old daughter, Jessica, who had recently died from cancer. As CHOC had played a significant role in the Bain family’s life, the decision was to make CHOC the sole beneficiary of their quest. They decided to don cow suits (because that was the only animal suit they could hire 8 of!) and they succeeded in raising R230 000. In 2009, the herd gained momentum and grew to an incredible 140 energetic cows.
Just two years later, the Herd numbered a staggering 350 cows all riding for a purpose. Ten years later, thousands of people have participated in events wearing cow suits. The Cows have just broken through the R28 million mark of funds raised for specific projects implemented by CHOC, and The Cows brand is prominent in many sporting events in South Africa. With these funds, CHOC is able to make a difference to the children being treated for cancer throughout South Africa.
Childhood cancer is a reality; it does not discriminate, does not care where you live, does not care about your bank balance or the colour of your skin. Childhood cancer is everyone’s reality, because childhood cancer does not just happen to someone, it can happen to anyone. Childhood cancers and blood disorders affect 1 in 600 children under the age of 16. It is estimated that currently less than half of children with cancer in South Africa are diagnosed, and many of those who are diagnosed are in an advanced stage of illness, resulting in survival rates in South Africa being not much more than 50%, compared with nearly 90% in developed countries. The reasons for this are inadequate access to healthcare in impoverished areas, late referrals and a lack of knowledge about paediatric cancers.
CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation has for more than 35 years stood together to keep hope alive for all children in South Africa as they know that children are our future.
Every year, The Cows choose exactly how the money they have raised is spent, by selecting specific projects within CHOC’s programmes. And ALL of the funds go into these projects. To date, The Cows’ money has paid many of the social workers’ salaries. It also has seen CHOC houses bought and refurbished, a house built in East London, the refurbishment and upgrading of the paediatric oncology wards at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital and the Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital, vehicles purchased and transport costs paid, and it has supported awareness campaigns for childhood cancer.
In celebration of its 10th anniversary, The Cows set their sights on making 2018 a year to remember that will leave a mark in the hearts and minds of all that join their journey. As part of this, The Cows aim to raise R10 million for CHOC.
This is the seventh Sport 4 Good profile of my 2018 #NGOs4Africa Campaign.