The Heroes amongst us

Troy Mayers

The Rohan Bloom Foundation is very close to my heart. I have known Rod, Rohan’s dad, for a long time and the passing of Rohan hit everyone very hard.

When Rod started the Foundation with the vision to open the first Paediatric Hospice in the Cape, I immediately jumped at the opportunity to raise awareness about the Foundation and at the same time raise money for them.

I wanted to challenge myself and decided to swim a mile through ice to raise funds for them. I entered the Lesotho Ice Mile, a gruelling swim which takes place in freezing cold water at a temperature of 1.7 degrees. To put this in perspective, the Titanic went down in water that was 5 degrees.

When I arrived to do the swim, I was suddenly concerned. I doubted myself and wondered whether I had bitten off more than I could chew. The altitude where the swim took place is 3222 meters above sea level, meaning that there was very little oxygen at that altitude. I was not only fighting the cold but the lack of oxygen too. I made the decision to rather swim the 1km event instead. But the thought of letting the Rohan Bloom Foundation down weighed heavily on my mind. It was then that I knew what I had to do, what I had trained to do and what I had come this far to do – to do the mile swim and put my body and my life on the line as originally planned for Rohan.

What drives me is the idea of raising money for people who will never meet me and who I would more than likely never meet either. I love the fact that these people are going to benefit from the swims I do.

I don’t do this for thanks or for accolades. Just knowing that children will benefit from what I do makes me happy.

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