Honouring World Children’s Day this year, Toys R Us & Babies R Us South Africa salutes the strength, courage, bravery, and resilience of children living with life threatening illnesses throughout the country.
The leading toy and baby product retail brand, together with the Reach For A Dream Foundation (RFAD), continues in its efforts to raise hope, spread joy and shine light on the dark days of ill health, encouraging young survivors to celebrate life and never give up their fight.
Brave eight-year-old, Ruan Lewis, had his toy dream realised earlier this month, when the Reach For A Dream Foundation (RFAD) together with Toys R Us South Africa opened their hearts to gift him an experience of a lifetime. Lewis, a grade 2 pupil, from Fish Hoek, in the Western Cape who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (cancer of the blood and bone marrow) two years ago, wanted nothing more than to spend his time, tackling a new LEGO challenge.
The bright-eyed pre-schooler beamed with happiness when he was pleasantly surprised with a personal delivery of the sought after LEGO Technic Lamborghini Sian FKP 37 – a detailed and challenging interconnected model toy, inspired by real world vehicles and authentic design, on his birthday.
“This gesture has brought so much of joy and happiness to our little boy who has gone through so much over the past two years. When he was diagnosed, I remember him telling me that he had lost his smile, and to see him grinning from ear to ear is just priceless. Even though we must go through one more year of treatment, Ruan remains positive and hopeful. We are so grateful for this wonderful surprise,” said his mother Yvonne, an independent sustainability consultant.
“We are so pleased to be able to bring joy to this little dreamer, Ruan, and celebrate the wonderful work done by the Reach for a Dream foundation. These kids must put on a brave face and fight every single day of their lives. As we commemorate World Children’s Day, we acknowledge their plight and continue in our journey to raise hope and inspire optimism through the power of a dream and the gift of play,” said Catherine Jacoby, head of marketing Toys R Us & Babies R Us SA.
The RFAD Foundation’s regional head, Kerry Donkin who oversees operations in KwaZulu-Natal and the Free State province expressed heartfelt gratitude for the fruitful partnership with the toy retail chain.
“We have always enjoyed a beautiful partnership with Toys R Us SA making heaps of toy dreams come true. They have always gone the extra mile to assist us in creating heartfelt and special moments for our children, from having their dreams realised, to outings, to Christmas gift wrapping, Toys R Us has kept the power of dreams alive for children fighting life threatening illnesses. Thank you for being a special part of the dream team,” said Donkin.
In celebration of being a beacon of hope, Toys R Us SA has launched a special range of soft plush teddy bears in support of RFAD, which aims to bring new meaning to the “gift of giving”. Thousands of terminally ill children are set to benefit from the sale of these bears.
“The RFAD bear is a wonderful initiative from Toys R Us, where they have created an opportunity for the public to support the foundation. For every RFAD bear sold in a Toys R Us store, R5 is donated to the foundation and our dreamers. Through the support from this initiative, we have been able to make many dreams come true,” added Donkin.
A tag attached to each bear includes space for a special message for the child receiving it and can be completed by the donor.
“This is a symbol of hope and joy for kids who are facing challenging circumstances and we encourage our customers to support this wonderful initiative,” adds Jacoby.