An 80 year old Windhoek resident, Chris Smith will walk a 300 kilometer journey from the capital to Swakopmund to raise awareness about Crohne’s disease which has affected his family in the past. Smith, started his journey from Windhoek on Tuesday last week, and is destined for Swakopmund.
Smith’s wife succumbed to Crohn’s disease a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestines, especially the colon and ileum, associated with ulcers and fistulae. His two children are also suffering from the same illness, which can be genetically passed on from parent to off spring.
According to his daughter, Helouise Smith the Cancer Association of Namibia (CAN) supported Smith throughout Jackie’s (wife) illness, and he experienced firsthand challenges of caring for a loved one living with Crohn’s disease. Her father in his wife’s memory and to support his daughters started ‘Quest for Crohn’s’ association with Bank Windhoek. The marathon walk started on Tuesday, 1 March 2016 at 09:00, at the Cancer Association of Namibia in Windhoek.
Chris was be accompanied by Harley Davidson motorbikes and Bank Windhoek staff that escorted him out of Windhoek. “The purpose of this campaign is primarily to create awareness about Crohn’s disease and UC and to raise funds to help other people who are diagnosed with the disease but don’t have the financial means to take care of themselves”, said Smith.
According to Smith, who is also the organizer, Chris embarked on the walk alone which is estimated to take approximately 30 days. There are doctors on standby in case of and emergency accommodation has been provided by the sponsors in places such as Okahandja and Swakopmund.
The partnership between BW, CAN and Smith came about after he approached several who turned him down, before securing his project with BW and CAN. He is now happy with the number of sponsor who are mostly made up of institutions from the private sector who donated various items. Caravans, cars, food and clothes are among some of the items that are donated. OTB is among some of these sponsors.
“Hopefully this is one of many more events to come in order to create more awareness and raise funds depending on the success of this event. All the money raised during this event will be handed over to CAN”, said Smith. Updates on Chris smith’s journey will be update on Quest for Chrone’s Facebook Page.