Chris Geils will be running 2,000K from Pretoria to Cape Town to raise awareness about disability

Chris Geils and 11 others have embarked on a journey, running from Pretoria to Cape Town South Africa, to raise awareness about disabilities.

The 41-year-old and team Ocal Global will leave the Mother City for Pretoria before starting an incredible non-stop, 24-hour-a-day challenge that spans two 100km (62 miles) over 10 days.

“The Ocal 2019 Journey for Change is being run not only to raise awareness around disability, but to raise funds for differently-abled children in the Northern Cape,” said Geils.

“All these children have physical disabilities, most commonly resulting from cerebral palsy, spina bifida, amputations, genetic syndromes, spinal injuries and traumatic brain injuries.”

He has committed to raising R25 000 ($1750) for the children’s immediate mobility and day-to-day living needs, including wheelchairs, walkers, prosthetics and crutches.

“When I was 24 years old I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease with no known cure. 

"Over the next six years, I’d yo-yo between states of being well, and then lows of feeling terrible and being in constant pain.

‘‘Eating anything would leave me in pain and immediately running to the bathroom. At the age of 30, I decided to make a change and listen to my body. It was about this time that I started running.

‘‘Thankfully, I’m well enough now to live a healthy, active lifestyle, but this could change at any moment and I want to make the good days count.

‘‘It’s for this reason that I want to be able to help and bring about change for the children in the Northern Cape.”

Ocal Global founder Nicolene Anley said: “People are disabled not because of their condition - they’re disabled by the poorly accessible world we currently live in.

‘‘With all of those daily challenges, disability can be something that you create within yourself that disables you from living a life that’s whole and that’s full and that’s meaningful.”

They plan to finish their challenge in Cape Town, South Africa on May19.

posted Thursday May 16th