Early Friday morning a Durban man pulled on a black and white cow suit complete with udders and set off from Gonubie Beach on a two-day hike to Morgan Bay.
He is aiming to raise funds for the Childhood Cancer Foundation (CHOC) in East London.
Father-of-two Gordon Reid, 44, is a member of a “herd” of CHOC cows in Johannesburg and Durban who participate in a range of sport challenges in support of the foundation.
Since its inception in 2008 the herd of fit philanthropists has raised R25-million.
Reid, who owns a print business in Durban, is on a 10-year quest to help CHOC and in the past four years has donned the stifling cow suit to take part in the Midmar Mile, the Tour Durban and the Dusi Canoe Marathon.
“Cancer affects everyone in some way. It is unfair on adults but even more unfair on kids, so we raise money and awareness ,” he said.
“For me this is all about doing things you wouldn’t normally do and pushing limits.”
Yesterday Reid set off from the Gonubie River mouth along with 87 others on the 45km Go-Chi-Mor hike. The hikers over-nighted in Chintsa last night before hitting the second leg to the cliffs above Morgan Bay this afternoon.
“The cow suit is made of thick, fleecy material and is hot and sweaty, but your body regulates. If it rains I will keep it on even if it gets soggy, but I think I’ll remove it for river crossings to avoid chafe,” said Reid.
“My pain will be temporary, but kids who have cancer suffer for a long time.”
Reid said he hoped his coastal cow walk would inspire East Londoners to don bovine onesies in support of CHOC. “Hopefully when they see this crazy guy in a cow suit and udders the bug will bite and people will start a cow chapter down here.”
CHOC Eastern Cape manager Debbie Kleinenberg said she was thankful to Reid and other “cows” who had made it possible for a R1.5-million five-bedroomed house to be built in Beacon Bay two years ago, to accommodate out-of-town parents while their children undergo cancer treatment in the city.
“We now call it the cow house and have been very full recently.”
She said money raised by Reid’s cow hike to Morgan Bay would be used for the running costs of the house. “We are really hoping to start our own herd of fundraising cows here in East London so I am really grateful for the visibility of what Gordon is doing.” — firstname.lastname@example.org