The Nuts & Bolts Rally was born in 2013, when a friend of my daughter lost the battle against cancer at the tender age of 18, two weeks before her Matric Farewell. This affected our whole community. It sensitised me to the incredible suffering of the individual, the family and greater community. I knew that I had to do something, something meaningful, something different, something to be more than a mere spectator.
Evil only triumphs when good men, women and children do nothing.
The Nuts & Bolts Rally became a metaphor for the cancer journey: difficult, unpredictable, a challenge, not to be embarked upon as an individual, a will to achieve the unthinkable: to travel across some of South Africa’s most arduous gravel roads in a cheap old jalopy.
The goal of Love Your Nuts is to raise awareness of (testicular) cancer by educating communities about the “rarely spoken about” cancer that often remains undetected in young adults due to our diverse society in South Africa, where cultural taboos, stigmas and a lack of knowledge about the subject is plentiful. A man’s lifetime risk of developing testicular cancer is approximately 1 in 250. It usually affects young men (age 15 – 39) in their prime of youth.
Rikus Visser joined the Nuts and Bolts Rally in September 2016. He wrote:
“I had a very bad end to 2016. I was diagnosed with TC (I know….what a coincidence right…) and my orchidectomy was done a week before Christmas. I am blessed that I caught it in the early stages and my CT scans came back clean. My biopsy of the remaining testical also came back clean.
I am grateful that I attended last year’s rally, especially the information session the weekend before where you shared some information about TC and how to check yourself. Who knows, if I did not attend that session I probably would not have taken the situation seriously and the cancer could have spread.“
CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation was established in 1979 as a support group to parents of children with cancer, by parents of children with cancer. Having experienced the immense emotional and financial toll that cancer takes they recognised there is more than one victim in the family of the child with cancer. Their aim was to ease the burden on parents facing the same journey by providing access to relevant, accurate information, as well as emotional and practical support. Funds raised are used to provide all-encompassing support – from direct practical help to the children and their families and those involved in the treatment – to necessary equipment
A few of the guys assisted in escorting the cancer survivors on a parade lap around the field before the start of the annual CANCA Relay for life.
The Tankwa-Karoo is situated between Ceres (Western Cape) and Calvinia (Northen Cape). The R355 running from Ceres to Calvinia is known as the longest gravel road between two towns (200km+). The district is known for its no-man’s-land remoteness, low rainfall (100mm per year), lack of commercial farming and long history of skaaptrek (sheep trekking).
Workers in this district are scattered far and in-between, and are facing a number of tough challenges. School children travel impossible distance to attend school, access to municipal services in the nearest towns of Ceres and Calvinia requires expensive informal transport systems, Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) statistics are extremely high (sometimes estimated as the highest in the world reported in the Northern Cape), Tuberculosis (TB) are prevalent among children and adults, limited access to fresh fruit and vegetable further enforced malnutrition and vitamin shortages, some families are and extremely impoverished, and animal neglect surfaces in a struggle for human survival. The Tankwa Community Projects initiative focusses on and aims to support the rural community of this remote district through a variety of projects.
Nuts and Bolts Rally started a Knysna relief project. We have raised more than R42000 and four tons of horse pellets. We bought droppers and received a donation of fencing. We restored the fencing and send down more than 300 bales of feed.
It was here where we met Elvis. He performed his whole life in the circus and was bought by Mike and retired on the farm. Poor Elvis burned badly in the fire.
It is with a sad heart that I have to tell you that ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING. The old guy was suffering too much. He crept into our hearts and will always remember him if we visit Knysna. ELVIS the men and woman of the Nuts and Bolts Rally salute you. Rest in peace