Lisa Steytler du Plessis of RE/MAX Panache is a tireless supporter of a number of charities and causes that are dear to her heart.
Her son Jordan was diagnosed at a young age with a chronic heart condition and Portal Hypertension (a liver-related disease). His life expectancy was four. He is now 13.
Over the years Jordan has needed any number of treatments and has received more than 300 blood transfusions. Lisa has, as a result, become a spokesperson for the SA National Blood Service (SANBS), creating awareness of the organisation and its aims at many functions and events.
Go here to listen to one of her talks on behalf of SANBS.
In 2011, Jordan was found to be partially deaf, and was admitted to the Open Air School for the Disabled – which is where Lisa’s passion for working with special needs children began. This was also the year in which Lisa become involved with Reach for a Dream after Jordan was a dream recipient.
Last year, Lisa was campaigning for SANBS when she was exposed to the work of the Sunflower Fund, which raises funds for stem cell and bone marrow donation. Subsequently, while Jordan was undergoing surgery at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, Lisa met Paul, a young man who had received a bone marrow transplant. Paul succumbed to his illness but Lisa has registered as a donor to honour his memory.
Lisa’s book, The Gift of Life, was published in 2012 and she donates copies to supporters of these various charities as a gesture of thanks for their generosity. She also “harasses” companies (her word!) for donations of wheelchairs and other apparatus for differently-abled children. Most recently, Lisa started a blog for all blood donors and parents of ill or disabled children, and also to raise awareness of her chosen charities.
Lisa’s goals in entering the CARE Awards are to:
Make a child’s dream come true via Reach for a Dream;
Enable five new donors to register with the Sunflower Fund; and
Educate two children at the Open Air School for the 2014 school year.