Javascript is not enabled! Please turn on Javascript to use this site.
Soweto Marathon for Neurodegeneration Research & Support

Soweto Marathon for Neurodegeneration Research & Support

Personal message

Update: I ran (and hobbled) and finished the 42.2 kilometres of the 2019 Soweto Marathon on 3 November. I'm leaving this fundraiser up until 10 November in case anyone would like to congratulate me for not dying and still donate to this extremely worthy cause. Thank you so, so much to everyone who donated to smash the initial R5000 goal and then reach the increased R8000 goal too. It honestly means the world.
____________________________

On 3 November 2019, I will run one of South Africa’s toughest and most well-loved marathons, the Soweto Marathon. I am raising funds for neurodegeneration research and support—which will go directly to the Joost van der Westhuizen Centre for Neurodegeneration.

Neurodegenerative conditions—such as Motor Neuron Disease or ALS—are alarmingly under-researched, not only in South Africa, but worldwide. Funding for care and equipment for those afflicted, who slowly lose their ability to walk, talk, eat, and even breathe, is also low to non-existent. The Joost Centre for Neurodegeneration has made efforts to address this. Just last year they opened the first ever Centre for Neurodegeneration in South Africa, and they plough as much funding as possible into the worldwide body of research on neurological conditions.

About Me:

In June 2017 my sister and I lost our mom due to complications related to a neurological condition. Our mom battled her condition for 27 years, and she was only 53 years old when she finally succumbed to it.

In August 2017, I decided to enter and run the 2018 Two Oceans 56-kilometre Ultra, which was set to take place on the 31st of March 2018, in honour of my mom, to raise funds for neurodegeneration research and support. I had never run further than 3 kilometres before, but fuelled by the memory of my incredible mom’s strength, I trained for and finished three half marathons and a full marathon (required as a qualifier for the ultra) within 6 months. Then, finally, 7 months after the start of my running journey, I successfully completed the Two Oceans Ultra on the Easter weekend of 2018, having partnered with the Joost Centre and managed to raise just over R8000. I was honestly stunned at my poor body’s tolerance of a 0 to 56-kilometre training and race schedule, but more so by the support I received from friends, family, and strangers.

I am again running in honour of my mom, who as a sufferer of a debilitating neurological condition, could, in the second-half of her life, no longer walk or run, but still had an incredible sense of humour through it all, which I will surely need by the time my poor fatigued legs get to the notoriously treacherous second half of ‘The People's Race.’

I would much appreciate if you would donate a few pennies to my cause. You can donate from anywhere in the world with your Credit or Debit card or via PayPal and, as the Joost Centre for Neurodegeneration has already been linked as a verified charity on this site, donations will go directly to them (i.e. I won’t be able to make off with the money to buy wine and soon-to-be-required painkillers).

Thank you so much,

Illona

Donations

  • Nov 09, 2019 - R 200.00
  • "You ran an outstanding run, in support of an excellent cause! " - Ian

  • Nov 09, 2019 - R 111.29
  • "Worsie is proud of you" - Worsie

  • Nov 08, 2019 - R 100.00
  • "Congrats on the great run & fundraiser!" - Alex

  • Nov 05, 2019 - USD $ 17.00
  • "There you go, to a worthy cause!" - Mabona

  • Nov 05, 2019 - R 51.41
  • "So close :) " - TwoNa

  • Nov 04, 2019 - USD $ 30.00
  • "Let's get Illona to R8000.!" - Francois

  • Nov 04, 2019 - USD $ 20.00
  • "you’re an inspiration to us, thank you" - tristan bergh

  • Nov 03, 2019 - R 100.00
  • "Told you I’d be thinking of you ;)" - Tanya

  • Nov 02, 2019 - USD $ 13.31
  • "You are amazing! Sending so much luck, love and (spiritual) lasagne xx" - Little Pip’s momager

  • Nov 01, 2019 - R 514.10
  • "Lets get you closer to the 8000 mark. " - Nic

  • Nov 01, 2019 - R 500.00
  • "Break a leg ???? ( You totally got this) " - Cameron

  • Nov 01, 2019 - R 102.82
  • "Good luck! Go out and smash it! :)" - Brad

  • Oct 31, 2019 - R 100.00
  • "Joking Worsie has a great heart! Good luck! Drink Water! Have fun!" - Klein Wors' shrivelled, black little heart

  • Oct 31, 2019 - R 304.50
  • "You've got this, dear friend! I believe in you - now go out there and DO THE DAMN THINGS!!" - Byn

  • Oct 28, 2019 - R 102.82
  • "All the bestest! " - Tarryn

  • Oct 28, 2019 - R 514.10
  • "All the best!" - RFH

  • Oct 25, 2019 - USD $ 30.00
  • "Getting there. " - Francois

  • Oct 25, 2019 - R 514.10
  • "Where's the mielie emoji?" - Matty

  • Oct 21, 2019 - R 102.82
  • "*" - Pierre

  • Oct 19, 2019 - R 205.64
  • "Run with the spirit of a gazillion horses babe! " - Darron Diesel

  • Oct 15, 2019 - R 205.64
  • "Good luck. " - Nic

  • Oct 14, 2019 - R 102.82
  • "Good luck with the running in ur moms honour! U are amazing " - Nicole Tex

  • Oct 04, 2019 - USD $ 20.00
  • "Good luck " - Francois

  • Oct 03, 2019 - R 102.82
  • "YOU GO, GLEN COCO! " - ILYSFM

  • Oct 02, 2019 - R 102.82
  • "Good luck from Worsie" - Worsie

  • Oct 01, 2019 - R 20.00
  • "The donation below had the "power arm" emoji at the end, which turned into question marks. You've definitely got this, no question." - Tuna Again

  • Oct 01, 2019 - R 500.00
  • "With love (and jealousy of them yster-knieë.) You've got this! ????????" - Tuna

  • Oct 01, 2019 - USD $ 32.98
  • "Honor to the memory of your Mom. " - Willie B

  • Sep 30, 2019 - R 102.82
  • "Goodluck! " - Alexpew2

  • Sep 30, 2019 - USD $ 6.60
  • "A worthy and admirable goal. Best of luck! " - Whelan

  • Sep 30, 2019 - R 102.82
  • "Enjoy the run, and good luck with the fundraising! " - Ian

  • Sep 30, 2019 - R 102.82
  • "All the best!" - Anonymous

  • Aug 27, 2019 - USD $ 32.75
  • "Go for it! " - Francois

  • Aug 07, 2019 - USD $ 33.49
  • "Go for it! " - Francois

Donate to this charity

Statistics

Donations to date

R 8 170.38

Fundraising target

R 8 000.00
Donate

The Joost van der Westhuizen Centre for Neurodegeneration

The Joost van der Westhuizen Centre for Neurodegeneration Logo

A MAN WHO ACHIEVED THE ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ ON THE FIELD WAS ON A MISSION TO DO THE SAME OFF THE FIELD. THE JOOST VAN DER WESTHUIZEN CENTRE FOR NEURODEGENERATION IS A TRIBUTE TO HIS VISION, COURAGE AND UNFAILING DETERMINATION.