OC Leon Oosthuizen’s Goal to Help Save Lives

Leon Oosthuizen (OC1989) runs an ultramarathon for his niece

Congratulations to OC Leon Oosthuizen (Class of 1989) in his incredible efforts to support his niece, Jamie, who is awaiting a heart transplant.

Leon took up the challenge of running a gruelling 132.30km from Nottingham Road to Sani Pass on Saturday the 29th of June to raise funds for Jamie’s charity of choice, the Organ Donor Foundation.

We asked Leon a few questions about his achievement:

You took up the challenge of running a gruelling 132.30km from Nottingham Road to Sani Pass to raise funds for Jamie’s charity of choice, the Organ Donor Foundation.  How did you reach this decision?

It was actually a selfish decision, I want a challenge after the Covid hard lockdown. and decided that this would be quite a cool run to do. I then got thinking and felt it would be a good way to raise some funds and equally importantly – Awareness for the Organ Donor Foundation

Please tell us how the run went on the day? How long did it take?

It took 23h31min. I was fortunate that I had a team that ran with me and supported me along the way. This included my wife and daughter and two couples who supported me for the full 23hrs, without them it would have been a different, and much harder, experience. The run was good for most of the way, the 25km on the Sani Pass Rd were by far the worst. I think it was the fact that I had run 100km and I could see the true scale of the actual pass (you can see the switch back from the road leading up to the border), the up coming climb caused doubts to creep into my head, fortunately I had a good friend running with me who helped me though. I got a second wind going up the pass and felt incredibly strong, perhaps it was adrenaline but it was great to summit and feeling like that. It was a fantastic feeling of achievement, after 1081km training, (129hrs) and more than 18000m of climbing in that training.

Was the event a success?

It has been a tremendous success, we have raised a little under R115 000 but just as important is that we created awareness for the Organ Donor Foundation and there have been lots of registrations.

How did you feel the day after?

The feet and quads were a bit achy but all in all I have been feeling great, I think the most painful thing is the blister on the top of my toe.

How is Jamie doing and how can we still help?

Jamie is doing incredibly well, she is so positive and the LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device) has given her a new lease on life. She had to have this device fitted as her heart condition was worsening and there were no replacement hearts available.

Any other comments?

I would like to encourage everyone to register on the ODF website, it really only takes two minutes. When I have shuffled off this mortal coil, I am done with my body. If it can help just one person to have a near normal life, then, that is a legacy that I want to leave.

Become an organ donor: https://www.odf.org.za/

Thank you, Leon – and well done!

It is still possible to contribute to the Jog for Jamie campaign: https://www.payfast.co.za/donate/go/ODF-Fundraising