Since 1978, Theo Steenkamp has taken part in various marathons and races, but since 2017, the Stellenberg resident has been running in aid of the Cape Kidney Association.
The non-profit organisation provides support for needy patients suffering from various kidney-related illnesses such as chronic kidney disease, malaria or those recovering from kidney operations.
Mr Steenkamp said: “During a small race in 2017, I met a woman who told me about how she had malaria, which affects your kidneys, and she told me how the Cape Kidney Association helped her through her recovery. Her story inspired me, and since then I have been running to raise funds for them.”
Mr Steenkamp, who turns 66 on Sunday October 25, added that since 2017, he had helped raise R138 000 for the organisation by asking for donations from people before and after races such as the Virtual Cape Town Marathon which took place on Saturday October 17.
“I post on my social media accounts and to people that I have on WhatsApp that I will be running at a particular event and they then make donations by getting my banking details. Every cent that I received through donations goes directly to the Cape Kidney Association.”
With lockdown restrictions keeping people indoors, Mr Steenkamp was unable to do much running on the road this year, but he was able to keep on track with the goals he had set for himself.
“This year would have been my 20th Two Oceans Marathon, but, of course, lockdown took that opportunity away. In order to keep to my target distances, I run on my treadmill at home or in my yard and of course when the restrictions lifted a bit I started running in the Bellville and Durbanville areas.”
Molly Fabe, executive director of the Cape Kidney Association, called Mr Steenkamp a “legend”. He has been named as the organisation’s ambassador.
“We are extremely grateful for his loyal support as he has raised in excess of R 100 000 since he started participating in marathons and raising the awareness and funds for the association. Theo has seen the need for assistance, and since the lockdown, the funds he raised with the recent Virtual Cape Town Marathon are greatly appreciated.”
Mr Steenkamp said he was honoured to be an ambassador for the association.
“I would like to ask people to give consistently and not just once off or for a certain event. The Cape Kidney Association lives on donations from the public so if people can perhaps set up small monthly debit orders it will be greatly appreciated.”
Contact Mr Steenkamp at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to help.