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PRESS RELEASE: Jacaranda FM and The Bug with the Big Heart raise funds for 67 Heart Surgeries at NMCH

Two initiatives launched on Mandela Day have raised a combined R2,7 million handed over to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital today to support heart surgeries at the hospital. 

R1.8 million of the funds was raised through Jacaranda FM’s Good Morning Angels on Breakfast with Martin Bester from pledges made by the station’s listeners on 18 July, International Mandela Day. 

Launched on the same day was the Boikanyo Bug, 1970s-model VW Beetle by the Boikanyo Foundation established in 2006 by the Round Table Golden East 181 to support heart surgeries for children in the region. 

The Boikanyo Bug travelled over 14 500 kilometres from Cape Town to reach its final destination in Transylvania at the Round Table International World Meeting last month and collected R900 000 along its journey, including from its auction. 

The combined funds will support approximately 67 heart operations for children in need of this critical intervention at the hospital. 

CEO of NMCH, Dr Mandisa Maholwana, said that the hospital was overwhelmed by the support. “When we hosted Jacaranda FM and bade farewell to the Boikanyo Bug as it embarked on its journey in July, we could not have anticipated the immense support we would receive from the public. We are so grateful for both partners and those that we have now made through the continent and abroad.”

It is estimated that 1 in every 100 children worldwide are born with a congenital heart condition. Many of these children will die if they do not receive necessary treatment. 

Dianne Broodryk, CSI Specialist at Jacaranda FM says, “Every day brings an opportunity to do better and be better and that’s why Good Morning Angels on Breakfast with Martin Bester collaborates with listeners, donors and organisations like the NMCH every week, to bring about positive change. The Jacaranda FM listeners’ response and support for the #GMAHeartsOfHope project was again overwhelming, but not surprising, as they always do go above and beyond – especially for our children. We wish the NMCH team and all the children and families who will benefit only the best.”

Project Convener Gareth Coats, says “When we conceptualised this project in February this year, we knew we had to forge partnerships to reach our goal. What has been accomplished by The Boikanyo Bug project is testament to what can be achieved when people share a common vision to do good. The inputs and efforts from literally hundreds of people across the world have led to us being able to change the lives of 67 children. Thank you to our friends at NMCH, Round Table around the globe, and Good Morning Angels.”

The Heart Centre at NMCH is one of a few paediatric centres in the country offering comprehensive paediatric cardiology services and cardiothoracic surgery. Head of Cardiology at NMCH, Professor Hopewell Ntsinjana, says that the hospital team is excited about the work ahead, “On behalf of the parents of the children we serve, NMCH and staff of the Heart Centre of the hospital, we would like to really thank you from the bottom of our hearts for this generous donation. Our biggest hope is that this will be an ongoing collaboration so that together we can fix more hearts.”