Twelve year-old cancer survivor and rugby enthusiast Cole Schonknecht recently had the opportunity to run onto the field with the Sharks during their latest Vodacom Super Ruby game, thanks to the Childhood Cancer Foundation SA (CHOC).
This forms part of the #TacklingCancer initiative during the Super Rugby tournament, with the aim to raise R1m for CHOC during the season.
Cole is head boy at Gonubie Primary School and plays for the under-13A rugby team.
“Cole was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia shortly after his second birthday. He was a high risk relapse patient and had to have three years of chemo as well as brain radiation,” his mother Cindy Schonknecht said.
Vodacom sponsorship executive head Michelle van Eyden said the season is dedicated to heroes through their collaboration with Marvel and the superhero-themed kits that the SA teams will wear for their local derbies.
CHOC CEO Carl Queiros said they were extremely grateful to be part of the initiative especially as it’s their 40th anniversary year.
“The children and teenagers with whom we work are superheroes themselves, having to face many a daunting challenge on their cancer journey. We’re proud to walk this journey with them and their families,” he said.
Rugby fans can contribute by adding a R5 donation for CHOC to every Vodacom Super Rugby match ticket they purchase, buying CHOC merchandise at the CHOC shops that will be at every stadium for the SA derbies, or go to www.choc.org.za to make a donation.
Vodacom and SuperSport will together donate R100 to CHOC for every tackle made by an SA player.
“Every weekend for months on end we broadcast these incredible tackles that define matches, and it’s a privilege to know these same tackles will now be helping to change the lives of the real superheroes,” SuperSport chief executive Gideon Khobane said.