Stepping up

stepping-up-bigDurban, 20 April 2013 – Today, (after weather conditions prevented the initial event from taking place on March 9th), Tyrone Pillay is attempting to climb 500 steps of the Moses Mabhida Stadium with his prosthetic foot to raise funds for two worthy causes.

Pillay aims to raise more than R500 000 with his Step Up 500 Challenge in aid of the CANSA Mkhuhla Care Home and the Jumping Kids Prosthetic Fund. He has challenged other athletes to do the same.

Pillay was born in Durban and still resides in the coastal city today. He was born with an abnormality of the left leg and has been using a prosthetic foot for the past 30 years.

Pillay is an F42 (above-knee amputee) field athlete that specialises in discus and shot put. He aims to represent South Africa at the 2013 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships scheduled to take place in France later this year.

Both the CANSA Fund and the Jumping Kids Prosthetic Fund have special significance for the aspiring Paralympian.

Pillay, who works as an IT Technical Specialist when not chasing his Paralympic dreams, lost his dad to cancer and is raising funds towards helping those needing similar care. The CANSA Care Home in Durban treats around 500 patients a year and is one of the top cancer care facilities in the country.

Pillay would also like to give others the same opportunity he was given in life by raising money for “Jumping Kids” to help children from less fortunate backgrounds to gain access to latest technology prosthetics.

Jumping Kids was launched in 2009 to address the needs of young South Africans with amputations who do not have access to adequate prosthetics. Its vision is to allow kids to be kids – to play, run, climb and jump just like any other kid despite their physical challenge.

The Fund supplies walking, as well as running prosthetics to young lower extremity amputees and has assisted over 40 children so far. Each beneficiary, (“Jumping Kid”), becomes part of the project for a minimum of three years during which regular follow-ups, assessments and prosthetic tweaking take place to ensure optimal mobility and development.

“It is very important for our Jumping Kids to have positive role-models to show them that, with hard work and a can-do attitude, anything is possible. Tyrone certainly fits the bill,” says Johan Snyders, founder of Jumping Kids and chief executive of Icexpress Progressive Prosthetics.