Bayer, as a collective, is a big advocate and celebrator of fitness, health and progress. As we approach our annual wellness day it is important for us to also reflect and be thankful for what we have. However, often times we can only truly appreciate our circumstances when we are facing the reality of someone less fortunate than we are.

Today we have an opportunity to celebrate our health by supporting a family who is facing various challenges: Peet and Maryke Pretorius and their 8-year old son.

In 2017, Peet jr was diagnosed with cancer. Various trips to Bloemfontein and Cape Town, strong chemo treatments, irradiation, tube feeding, bone marrow procedures from his sister Chané (10) and two insertions of “Higmolyn” have followed in rapid succession after the diagnosis. Since 2017, the family has been through various challenges with a road paved with daily tribulations.

Running for a cause

Jaco du Toit, a Bayer sales representative in Bothaville, Johan Bibbey, regional sales manager, Alison Levesley, regulatory lead Bayer SA, and Eric Ndou, research associate, have committed to run the Comrades Marathon for the benefit of Peet jr. This initiative has been taken on mainly to generate more funds for the family, but also on a motivational level for Peet himself.

For Jaco, running long distance does not come naturally, seeing as he stands in as hooker and would prefer to wreak havoc during a rugby match. However, Jaco’s decision to run for this boy gave Peet jr the courage to visit Nampo in the middle of his treatment, even though he was unable to walk or enjoy the animals and tractors. I was fortunate enough to welcome the family, not knowing their situation, into our stand when they came to meet Jaco for the first time. Long story short, Mof, myself and Jaco were in tears after we met Peet.

During his visit it was clear that Peet is in the midst of a struggle, but Jaco’s commitment is encouraging Peet to keep on fighting and persevere! But also, to relieve the financial burden for his parents.

A brave young Peet Pretorius shakes hands with Bayer representative, Jaco du Toit.

Offering hope under impossible circumstances

Peet and Maryke Pretorius are the parents of Peet jr (8) and Chané (10). Peet sr currently works at Estador 13 Pty Ltd farming operations. The company is owned by Burgert Naudé and Stoffel van Zyl from Odendaalsrus area, also Bayer clients. Maryke is not employed at the moment as she manages Peet jr’s condition and medication on a continual basis. The family does not have a medical aid and after various contributions they still owe R70 000 to cover a bone marrow transplant procedure.

Current costs, in addition to the debt they are trying to settle, include monthly fuel, hospital accommodation, antibiotics and other medication, ampules for a nebuliser, pH test strips and apricot seed capsules that fight the cancer. Most of these expenses are to continue for a five-year period.

Total per monthR5 385
Per yearR64 620
5-year periodR323 100
Current outstanding feesR70 000

When adding their current debt to these necessary expenses their current, short-term financial obligation equates to R134 620.

The family has a trust fund managed by a law firm where funds can only be used for medical expenses.

On a personal level, we have the opportunity to support Jaco, Johan, Allison and Eric on their Comrades quest and in doing so, we can directly impact the Pretorius family with hope, strength and courage. – Kruger van Wyk, Bayer SA (cell 082 573 1181 / email kruger.vanwyk@bayer.com).