In a world of escalating bad news about crime, poverty, violence and ill health, one project has generated good news, provided hope and turned the tide — the Cipla Medpro Miles for Smiles Foundation.
The foundation challenged two extreme athletes to participate in a radical event of their choice to capture the attention of all South Africans. These athletes chose to run the Great Wall of China in one attempt and, in so doing, they accurately measured the entire length of the wall.
Among those to receive tangible benefits from this extraordinary feat were children with facial deformities, who are often ridiculed and can consequently lack self-respect.
The company said in a statement: ‘By completing this world first, we reaffirmed that nothing is impossible. R550 000 was raised for the cost of the surgery on 54 children, whose lives are now changed forever.
‘More importantly, thousands of people are now aware of the plight of children with facial deformities — something which was previously swept under the carpet.
‘At Cipla Medpro, our final measure of success is a simple curve — the smile of health regained.”