From the news desk

CT girls take on Cycle Tour for little Ali

The Cape Town Cycle Tour is one of the toughest cycling races in the world, but it seemed like a small feat for two brave and big-hearted Cape Town girls who took on the 109 kilometre challenge with gusto.  On Sunday, 11-year-old Aalia Brey and her 12-year-old cousin Nabeelah participated in the 109km race on a tandem bike – all for a good cause.

The girls were supported by their wonderful dads

Through assisting Planet Mercy South Africa, the girls used the race to raise awareness and to raise funds for a very special boy, Ali Kamaldien, who has been diagnosed with T Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia. On Friday, 4-year-old Ali underwent a bone marrow biopsy, a lumber puncture and chemotherapy. Ali is the grandson of VOC presenter Ayesha Laatoe.  Aalia says Ali’s story was close to their heart.

“We were very sad about the news of little Ali’s illness and we really wanted to help him. All the treatment he has to go through made us very sad,” says Aalia, a Grade 6 learner at Islamia College.

A quick pit-stop before they push ahead

This was the girls’ second time participating in the Cycle Tour, and for even some of the most seasoned cyclists, the race can be tough. The girls trained by spinning indoors daily for 30 minutes and took time out over weekends to do 3-hour practice rides. The girls cycled alongside their fathers on the tandem, who gave them moral support along the way. Upon crossing the finishing line, Aalia says she felt a sense of relief and was “happy”.

“The wind made it harder than last year, but it was still fun. We had smooth riding,” she says.

The girls rest after completing the race

Aalia says it’s important for children to get involved in charitable causes.

“It makes you feel good after assisting the needy. You feel like you’ve made a small difference in their lives.”

Ayesha Laatoe and her family expressed their gratitude to the girls for their effort.

“For 11 and 12yr old girls, Aalia and Nabeela have been truly amazing. Their act of kindness, their innocence and selflessness to undertake this 109km to raise funds for little Ali has overwhelmed my family. As a family we can only make shukr to Almighty Allah for allowing our paths to have crossed. Their parents are raising children with Taqwa and good character and children of Deen. May the girls grow up to be successful in their endeavors both Dunya and Akhira and may their families stay strong Ameen. They have left my family in awe, Subahanallah,” she said.

“To the sponsors and donors of these riders may your reward be with the Almighty. We’ve seen the likes of both Muslim and non Muslims responding to this cause and feel humbled Alhamdulillah. I must admit that this initiative brought much tears of joy to my daughter and has made me realise that my grandson has become a ‘household name’ and people are constantly making dua for him.”

Alia and Nabeelah with Ayesha Laatoe and Ali’s mother Zaynab Kamaldien

Aalia has appealed to VOC listeners to donate the cause.

“The response has been good, but we want to appeal to the VOC listeners to donate. If they cannot, then we ask that they make dua for Ali.”

Planet Mercy South Africa is a social welfare and charity non-profit organisation.

To donate:
Planet Mercy South Africa
FNB Account 624 95 371 694
Branch Code: 250655
Ref: Name + Ali


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