We are always so proud to see our members making a difference in their communities, and we love sharing their stories. This month’s story is particularly heartwarming because it sheds the spotlight on people and charities working hard to allow differently-abled kids to experience the wonderful world of sport.
Mark Schreuder of Schreuders Auto Services & Electrical at the Shell Service Station in Meadowridge explains that he became involved with the Warrior on Wheels Foundation after meeting Laurence Steenveld, whose son, Caden, was born with Coffin-Lowry Syndrome; a rare genetic disorder characterised by intellectual disability and various skeletal abnormalities. Mark and Laurence became cycling buddies (Mark is a huge fan of the sport), and in 2018, Laurence asked him if he would support Warriors on Wheels by riding the Cape Town Cycle Tour while pulling a child in a purpose-built buggy behind his bike.
Since then, Mark has been an avid supporter of the Foundation. Mark’s enthusiasm for helping children take part in sports is boundless; over the years, he has become more involved in the Foundation and has taken part in several fundraising initiatives to make it possible for kids to experience sports like zip-lining and horse riding. This fundraising is critical, Mark says, because it takes R15 000 to manufacture just one Warriors on Wheels buggy.
He derives enormous joy from his work with the Foundation, dedicating weekend mornings to helping the kids: “One of the little girls who rides with me is unable to speak but, over time, I have learned how to communicate with her. She is always calm and at peace after our rides. It’s also great for the kids’ parents to get some time out, to do the garden, go shopping, or just rest while the kids are out having fun.”
Mark also remains committed to helping Caden and his parents. He has raised R25 000 for Caden’s Foundation of Hope by running the Two Oceans Marathon, which, he explains, was started by Laurence and his wife Juanita after Caden was born. At the time, the Steenvelds had no resources that could provide assistance with raising their son; through the Foundation, they have been able to offer aid to around 25 families with special needs’ children. “The Foundation helps our special needs community by offering immediate short-term financial relief and support; we also work to raise awareness of the needs of special needs kids and their families,” Mark says.