The 29th of May 2016, saw thousands of runners humbled by the epic challenge of the Comrades Marathon, but one runner’s story stood out. That of 17-year-old double amputee, Sandile Mbili, from Diepsloot who lost his legs four years ago due to an infection, as he ran the 1.6km of the #NedbankGreenMile for the first time. This is how Nedbank and their advertising agency, as well as Jumping Kids, got him to the finish line of an incredible journey:
Sandile recently received prosthetic legs from Jumping Kids, an organisation that provides prosthetics solutions to disadvantaged children in South Africa. Nedbank heard about Sandile’s story and created a campaign titled Twitter Track. The campaign called for tweets of encouragement in order for Sandile get through his challenging rehabilitation process. Further to this Nedbank then went on to challenge Sandile to run the 1.6km at the Comrades Marathon over another Twitter Track along the Nedbank Green Mile to raise funds for Jumping Kids so that other amputee children also have the opportunity to gain mobility again.
Announcing his name on the loud speaker the MC counted Sandile down in order for him to start running the mile, with every runner passing him cheering him on. After 63km runners spent every bit of energy they had left to encourage Sandile. As the 11-hour bus reached him they all started chanting, “Go Sandile, Go Sandile!” Reaching the grandstands, hundreds of people lined up to high-five him as he continued the last stretch of the track. Bolting through to finish in an impressive time of 12 minutes and 24 seconds.
“I’m tired joh, the Nedbank Green Mile is long… but I’m very very happy. I want to thank Jumping Kids for changing my life and giving me these prosthetic legs, and Nedbank for challenging me to do this. I hope we can raise a lot of money so that more kids can have their lives changed too. This was an amazing experience in my life thanks to Jumping Kids and Nedbank,” said Mbili.
Fundraising and donations are encouraged. To donate please visit www.backabuddy.co.za (Jumping Kids or #GoSandile). Jumping Kids gives children with leg amputations access to the prosthetic tools required to lead full active lives this is only possible through collaborations with experts, volunteers, supporters, donors, sponsors and …YOU.
You can watch Sandile’s story at https://youtu.be/2ZchrUwPico.