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Liesl swims for Rainbows and Smiles

Liesl swims for Rainbows and Smiles

Personal message

As a mom who has walked a very long journey with my survivor son, Josh, I encourage you all to support my swim across the Midmar dam this coming month by donating towards my fundraising page.

Funds raised will go directly to Rainbows and Smiles, who support cancer children.

Josh’s story: When Joshua was nine months old, I felt a strange lump in his abdomen. Ironically it was also Mother’s Day. It’s a day that will be etched into my memory for eternity. The day our whole world changed forever. 

Joshua was diagnosed with bi-lateral nephroblastoma (tumours in both kidneys). Almost immediately, he began chemotherapy, which continued for an entire year. At 18 months old, he went into renal and heart failure.  

Our little boy spent six long weeks on life support in ICU. During this time, I spent many evenings filled with anxiety, my nerves were constantly on edge, but we had to keep going – what choice did we have? My family and support system carried me through the dark days. “You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”

Josh and I moved from Durban to Cape Town; the doctors removed his then non-functioning kidneys, and he was put on dialysis three times a week. We were separated from my 4-year-old son, Noah and their Dad, Sean. 

We were told he urgently needed a kidney transplant to save his life, and after seven months of dialysis, it was time. I felt like I hit the jackpot when we were both matches for Josh. Finally, I no longer felt helpless. I donated one of my kidneys to Josh when he was two and a half years old. After his recovery, we returned home with my kidney in his strong, healthy body. 

Josh had many infections, procedures and surgeries but was always triumphant. He even broke a record at the World Transplant Games for Athletics and won a Gold Medal and a Bronze for Swimming. 

However, we were informed that he had precancerous cells in his gut at nine years of age, and he started chemotherapy again. A strange virus caused his lungs to fill up with blood during this gruelling time, which saw us take a mercy flight back to Cape Town.

He was back in ICU with a chest drain in each lung. Everyone was so worried about Joshua. Throughout all this time, Josh continued to fight for his life.

Joshua then had a 7-hour operation, and he almost died on the operating table as he was bleeding so much. The doctors came out and prepared us for the worst. It would be a miracle if Joshua survived. We were advised to say goodbye. 

My kidney was no longer viable, we had to relocate to Johannesburg, and he was placed back onto dialysis for a year. He started having epileptic fits, and he was declining. 

As I watched my son getting weaker, his Dad called to tell us that the doctors had informed him that another kidney was available for Joshua. Finally, we saw the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Another mother had tragically lost her son in an accident, and in her grief, she gave our Josh life! I have subsequently met this incredible woman, and she told me all about her precious son Michael. Josh has had his kidney for six years now and is excellent. He is a true warrior and has the biggest heart I know. He is my hero.

Donations

  • Feb 18, 2022 - R 100.00
  • "Well done " - Brian Green

  • Feb 15, 2022 - R 50.00
  • "Well done on your swim " - Giselle

  • Feb 14, 2022 - R 100.00
  • "Well done on your swim! " - Michelle Girodo

  • Feb 14, 2022 - R 100.00
  • "

    Good Luck Liesl

    " - Eunice

  • Feb 14, 2022 - R 100.00
  • "Good luck " - Mr Baijoo

  • Feb 14, 2022 - R 200.00
  • "

    Swim away Swim away

    " - Ian

  • Feb 14, 2022 - R 500.00
  • "

    You are amazing Liesl!

    " - Ro

  • Feb 14, 2022 - R 1 000.00
  • "

    From angel to your super hero

    " - Carolyn Dickinson

  • Feb 14, 2022 - R 500.00
  • "

    Indeed a privilege to be your friend and colleague. M x.

    " - Marie Vermaak

  • Feb 14, 2022 - R 100.00
  • "Good luck " - Priya Naick

  • Feb 14, 2022 - R 1 000.00
  • "Good luck for your swim " - Mr P

  • Feb 13, 2022 - R 200.00
  • "I know and understand this pain. God bless both of you." - Shakila Singh

  • Feb 12, 2022 - R 500.00
  • "Good Luck Lies! You’re such an inspiration xx" - Sisi

  • Feb 11, 2022 - USD $ 46.16
  • "Rockstar! Enjoy the swim" - Mark Ratcliffe

  • Feb 11, 2022 - R 1 000.00
  • "Good luck for tomorrow from everyone @ Seeff Properties Xx." - Gregg Wilson

  • Feb 11, 2022 - R 250.00
  • "Love you and your beautiful heart x" - Christine Slatter

  • Feb 11, 2022 - R 200.00
  • "You are an amazing mom. Love you friend. 🥰" - Salo

  • Feb 11, 2022 - R 200.00
  • "" - fudog

  • Feb 11, 2022 - R 200.00
  • "My bravest friend xxx" - Smang

  • Feb 11, 2022 - USD $ 46.16
  • "Swim like the wind, girlie" - Bernie

  • Feb 11, 2022 - R 200.00
  • "Good luck Liesl, cannot believe what you went through as a mum, I could never imagine this. Josh is a true warrior as are you x" - Anna Sacks

  • Feb 11, 2022 - R 500.00
  • "You and Josh are so brave and strong, Liesl ... you are a true inspiration!" - Sharon

  • Feb 11, 2022 - R 200.00
  • "<3" - Dun

  • Feb 10, 2022 - USD $ 19.72
  • "Love you Thank you for all you do ! " - Rory Booth

  • Feb 10, 2022 - R 250.00
  • "God bless you for this. May it multiply. " - Mthokozisi Zulu

  • Jan 31, 2022 - R 100.00
  • "

    You are one of the most selfless, incredibly strong, and all round amazing human beings! Go get it my T-Rex! Love you xx

    " - Jemma

  • Jan 31, 2022 - R 400.00
  • "

    Love you buddy! You are flipping amazing!

    " - Lyn

  • Jan 29, 2022 - R 100.00
  • "Good luck with your swim my Smithie!" - Catherine Emery

  • Jan 29, 2022 - R 200.00
  • "Go bokkie go I am with you all the way in heart & spirit xxx" - Genevieve Lund

  • Jan 29, 2022 - R 200.00
  • "So proud of you and Joshy , you are amazing , love you lots " - Punds

  • Jan 28, 2022 - R 200.00
  • "You are amazing my friend " - Claire

  • Jan 28, 2022 - R 200.00
  • "Love Shannan 🦋 " - Shannan

  • Jan 27, 2022 - R 1 000.00
  • "You're so brave! I dunno how you do it! " - Anon

  • Jan 27, 2022 - R 300.00
  • "Liesl, you are the best person I have ever known. You have the biggest heart in the world. I Love you so much" - Danny Guselli

  • Jan 27, 2022 - R 200.00
  • "All the best Leisl! Lots of love" - Alex

  • Jan 27, 2022 - R 200.00
  • "What an incredible inspiration you are! Josh must be so proud of you! " - Sarah

  • Jan 27, 2022 - R 100.00
  • "You are an incredible strong woman, and inspiration to many." - Terry

  • Jan 27, 2022 - R 100.00
  • "Good luck" - Desre Gaze

  • Jan 26, 2022 - R 500.00
  • "Big love for your strength and your continued support of kids." - Sam

Donate to this charity

Statistics

Donations to date

R 12 856.47

Fundraising target

R 6 000.00
Donate

Rainbows and Smiles Foundation

Rainbows and Smiles Foundation Logo

The mission of Rainbows and Smiles is to provide emotional, social and financial support to families and caregivers in need when a child or children of that family is diagnosed with a life threatening illness such as cancer. In addition, Rainbows and Smiles encourage childhood cancer awareness to educate in the hope of promoting early detection.

To set up your own fundraising page for Rainbows and Smiles click here