hDurban, 9 March 2013 – Today, local para-athlete Tyrone Pillay is climbing the 500 steps of Moses Mabhida Stadium with his prosthetic foot to raise funds for two worthy causes.

Pillay aims to raise R500 000 – (R1000 per step) – with his ‘Step Up 500’ event in aid of the CANSA Mkhuhla Care Home and the Jumping Kids Prosthetic Fund. He has challenged other athletes to do the same and is joined by rugby legend AJ Venter, and swim-star Troy Prinsloo amongst others.

Pillay was born in Durban and still resides here today.  He was born with an abnormality of the left foot 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 hopes to qualify to represent South Africa at the 2013 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships in July.

Both the CANSA Fund & the Jumping Kids Fund have special significance. 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 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 children the same opportunity he was given in life by raising money for “Jumping Kids” to help less fortunate children who are in need of 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.

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

The Step Up 500 Challenge is attended by five Jumping Kids beneficiaries while two of the beneficiaries, Junior Mavuso and Gift Thabang Moilwa, are also being fitted with brand-new sport prosthetics, (known as Cheetah Blades), at Moses Mabhida Stadium during the event.

“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 Pillay certainly fits the bill. It is wonderful to be a part of this exciting event and we are grateful to be chosen as one of the charities that will benefit from it”, says Johan Snyders; founder of Jumping Kids and chief executive of Icexpress Progressive Prosthetics.

Get Involved