Milestone moment as The Cows mom turns athlete
Durban – After being on the receiving end of the support and generosity of
The Cows while her son was undergoing cancer treatment, Durban mother Kjersti Skanke
will join the sport-loving 'herd' for the first time as she rides the Amashova
cycle race 38 kilometre event on Sunday.
When her eldest son Aksel was diagnosed with leukaemia just before his first
birthday, Skanke found support from The Cows volunteers who visit the
patients and their families in hospital and at the CHOC House facility that
allows parents to be close to their children while they are receiving
With Aksel fully recovered, Skanke has a chance to see the other side of The
Cows as she joins the local 'herd' riding their bikes and
relentless fundraising efforts for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Association.
"I was very fortunate to get to know The Cows through the amazing work they all
do," said Skanke. "They are kind and compassionate people who have taken
time out of their lives to support us, and they always have smiles on
"Since I first met The Cows, Iris (Varty) has always inspired me to get involved
wherever I can!
I have always wanted to join them on a cycle race and this year is finally
"This will be my first Amashova and I am so excited and blessed to
be riding with a team who are doing it for a cause I deeply recognize and
"This ride is for my boy!" she added enthusiastically. "It is also for all the children currently fighting this battle and
for all the angels I have met, loved and lost on this journey."
"Never before have I met anyone as positive and inspiring as this young lady,"
said Iris Varty, who serves as 'Durbs Daisy' organising the KZN Herd of The
"I know she has been to
hell and back, and then some, and yet, she still smiles that big broad smile
and continuously asks me where she can assist with The Cows and CHOC.
"When she messaged me telling me that she was doing her first cycle
race, and that she was extremely nervous, I didn’t let her finish. I told
her I would ride it with her," said Varty.
More information about The Cows can be found at
About The Cows
The Cows were started in 2008 by a group of eight enthusiastic cyclists
keen to make a difference and raise funds for the CHOC Childhood Cancer
Foundation of South Africa. Cordi van Niekerk was
one of the founder members and joined Kerrin and Grant Bain in cycling the
947 Cycle Challenge in memory of their daughter, Jessica, who had
recently died from cancer at just 20 months old.
As CHOC had played a
significant role in the Bain family's life in the last few weeks of
Jessica’s life, specifically with palliative care and emotional support, the
decision was to make CHOC the beneficiary of their quest. They decided to
don cow suits and succeeded in raising R230 000.
In 2009, the herd gained momentum and grew to 140 energetic
cows. Just two years later the herd numbered a staggering 350 cows all
riding for a purpose. Armed with the ‘Love Living Life’ slogan and a healthy
dose of enthusiasm, the herd has enjoyed much success and acclaim.
Ten later, hundreds of people have participated in events wearing
cow suits. The Cows have raised well over R30 million for specific projects implemented by CHOC and The Cows brand is
prominent in many sporting events in South Africa. With these funds, CHOC is
able to make a difference to the children being treated for cancer
throughout South Africa.
One herd; one quest: to make a difference to children with cancer. Love
More information can be found at
Click to download the hi-res
The Cows Logo - JPeg
Durban mother Kjersti Skanke
will be riding the Amashova 38km race in the colours of The Cows as she
takes on her first cycle race to show her appreciation for the support she
received from The Cows while her eldest son Aksel (left) was undergoing
treatment for leukaemia. Her son Eli (right) will join Aksel supporting
their mom on her debut cycle race.
Kjersti Skanke with her son
Aksel while he was being treated for leukaemia. Skanke will ride her first
cycle race on the Amashova 38km on Sunday in the colours of The Cows to show
her appreciation for the support she received from The Cows and CHOC while
Aksel was in hospital.
Conditions of usage of photographs:
All photographs supplied and hyperlinked herewith may be used free of
charge, with full credit to the photographer and agency as provided. The
photographs may not be modified or retouched in any way, but may be
cropped to suit the layout requirements of the publications. The
photographs provided may be used exclusively for editorial purposes, and
may be reprinted in any newspaper, magazine, television programme or on
any website. These photographs may not be used for any commercial or
promotional purpose, including but not limited to posters, advertisements,
commercials, promotional email correspondence, point-of-sale material or
any retail promotion. Should such usage be desired, please contact us at
the details below.
Is this of no value to you?
This media release is intended for use by media professionals covering
this specific activity or sport. Should this release not be relevant you,
advise us immediately and we will be glad to remove your name from
this particular database. It would be useful to us if you could advise us
which subjects you would like to continue receiving releases on.
For any further information,
or if you cannot access the images, please contact: