Joy of wheelchairs

GIFT OF MOBILITY: From the back, Alan Stapleton Spar EC purchasing manager and Jennilee Peremore-Oliver Daily Dispatch marketing manager. Front, Angelo Walker, Litha Soldati and Elroy Fortune; received new wheelchairs. Picture: SIVENATHI GOSA

Smiles, tears and excitement were etched on faces as three happy people received their wheelchairs on Monday at the Daily Dispatch offices.

The handover came after the SPAR Daily Dispatch Summer Fun Run raised over R25,000 in 2018.

Daily Dispatch sales manager Suren Packery described the summer fun run as a massive success, and is only one of the few runs where the disabled can join in on the fun.

Four recipients had been identified, namely Angelo Walker, Elroy Fortune, Litha Soldati and Abanathi Mbono. Unfortunately, Mbono passed away in April.

An emotional Fortune, who had his right leg amputated after a car accident, was very grateful for the gift.

“I thank God that I’m still alive. The whole network of people involved in this, is a symbol of love,” he said.

Walker and Soldati were diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth. Litha’s mother, Lindiwe, said they were happy they would receive Litha’s wheelchair soon.

“It will be easier for her to be mobile as the previous one was too small,” she said.

Angelo Walker, Litha Soldati and Elroy Fortune with their families at the wheelchair handover. Picture: SIVENATHI GOSA

EC SPAR sponsorships and events manager Alan Stapleton said they were grateful for the opportunity to be involved and hoped this would make movement easier.

Recipients were identified by the Sweethearts Foundation, together with The Page Group East London.

The foundation raises money for wheelchairs by collecting bread tags and plastic bottle lids and selling them for recycling.

Unable to be present at the event, Sweethearts marketing director Ashley Nel, congratulated recipients through a video link.

“The wheelchairs are all specialised so they may grow with it,” Nel said.

In a bid to welcome in the spring season later this year, this year’s Daily Dispatch Fun Run will take place on September 8.

“We’re hoping to get more corporates involved as they have such a big role to play to encourage health and also to give to a good cause,” Daily Dispatch marketing manager Jennilee Peremore-Oliver said.

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