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Annual Jade Sky memorial hike

Sunday, June 16, 2019 will not only be a day to commemorate the brave youth of South Africa but also those fighting cancer and other life-threatening blood diseases at the 12th annual Jade Sky Memorial Hike.

Event pioneers and organisers, Ian and Mandy Tyrer of Maritzburg Tutor Centre, in association with The Sunflower Fund, are gearing up for another momentous campaign.

Set in the foothills of the majestic Drakensberg escarpment, the hike is held each year in memory of Jade Preston who passed away from leukaemia at just 8 years old. The hike was initially held to raise funds in support of Jade’s brave fight but has since been held in her memory after she sadly succumbed to her illness.

This Sky Hike aims to “celebrate life and to remember those who were challenged by cancer and to support those being challenged with cancer,” says Mandy Tyrer.

Standing: Amy and Tanya Gladwin, Shannon Preston, Richelle Jordaan, Xolani Hlongwane, Mary Ann Hartley and Alec Cowan. Bottom: Ian and Shay Preston, Mandy Tyrer and Belinda Cowan. Pictures: Supplied

The hike appeals to outdoor and hiking enthusiasts, as well as families and individuals, of all ages and fitness levels. It has also proven to be a significant occasion for anyone wishing to pay tribute to a lost loved one. All are welcome to join in the adventure and to hike at their own pace as it is not a race but simply a beautiful day to be enjoyed in the outdoors with those closest to you.

The hike commences from the Sani Pass border post at 7.30am and covers about 8km up the mountain to the Highest Pub in Africa and then back down again for those braving the long haul.


The Midlands branch of the Four Wheel Drive Club of Southern Africa will be on voluntary patrol once again, seconding hikers and ensuring that all participants return safely to the border post. The club will also be selling hot breakfast rolls and beverages at the start point.

Interested hikers are reminded to please dress appropriately and carry their passports and own refreshments to sustain them en route. The entry donation is R120 a person and the first 150 entrants paying by EFT will receive a Sunflower TOPE (Tube of Hope).

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Funds raised will be in support of The Sunflower Fund to help them create awareness about the need for blood stem cell donors, as well as recruit and maintain a registry of donors committed to helping anyone in need of a life-saving transplant, thus giving greater hope of life to patients affected by blood diseases such as leukaemia.

For more information, contact Mandy Tyrer on 082 459 6095 or email For more information on The Sunflower Fund or how to become a blood stem cell donor, please visit or call toll free 0800 12 10 82.

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