World Preemie Day is around the corner and as part of the drive to create awareness and raise funds to support the Western Cape’s sickest and most vulnerable babies, several Cape Town celebs will jump into children’s Optimist Boats in the tank at the Two Oceans Aquarium on Wednesday 14th October.

Newborns Trust Manager Amy Mac Iver says, “We are so fortunate that the Stormers’ players have such huge hearts, and Siya Kolisi, Scarra Ntubeni, Chris Van Zyl – and others – regularly visit the unit, hand out gifts for the babies and spend time talking to the moms. Even past players Bryan Habana and Jean De Villiers have come to visit and left with tears in their eyes. No matter how big and tough you are, visiting a unit with 80 critically ill babies from across the Western Cape is always emotional. Even more so when you’ve had a baby in ICU yourself – as Siya and Rachel have experienced”.

The event is part of a larger collaborative charity event organised by Greg Bertish called the Little Optimist Challenge. The Challenge runs from 9-18th October and people from all over the world are invited to sail an Optimist for charity. It costs R150 to enter, and the proceeds are split between the Little Optimist Trust and the charity of their choice.

For World Preemie Day (Nov 17th) this year, the Newborns Trust is aiming to raise enough money to do a makeover the nurse’s breakroom. Mac Iver says, “Our nurses work 12 hour shifts – they work weekends, birthdays and even Christmas Day – caring for the babies. Their break room is currently bare – there are no comfortable chairs only a few plastic ones. And no refreshments are provided. If they want tea or a biscuit they need to bring a teabag from home. My goal is to create a little sanctuary where the nurses can put up their feet and take a deep breath during their breaks. You can just imagine the stress and heartbreak they cope with on a daily basis.”

For more information you can visit the Newborns Trust page on Facebook and find out how you can help.

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Press release