The Cows Media Release


21 Oct 2022

Embargo: None

Written by: Dave Macleod

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 treatment.

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 continuing their 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 their faces.

"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 that year!

"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 appreciate.

"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 Cows.

"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 Living Life!

More information can be found at


Photo Caption Photographer Click to download the hi-res pic

 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. Supplied/
Gameplan Media

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. Supplied/
Gameplan Media

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, please 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:
Gameplan Media