17-year-old Sandile Mbili will make history at the Comrades Marathon this year by becoming the first teenage double-amputee to run a portion of the gruelling route.
Mbili will take on the 1,6 kilometre long ‘Nedbank Green Mile’, situated in Kloof. He hopes to raise money for other child paraplegics in a similar situation to himself.
Four years ago, Mbili lost both his legs due to a bacterial infection, leaving the Diepsloot youngster in a wheelchair. His life had been turned upside down and he battled to adjust.
As a result, his confidence began to slip, along with his performance at school.
In a bid to restore Sandile’s confidence and make everyday life easier for him, non-profits One School At A Time and Jumping Kids teamed up to change his situation and fit him with prosthetic legs.
As the organisations wanted to raise awareness of the project and to help encourage Sandile as he learned to walk again, they launched #GoSandile Twitter campaign at the beginning of the year.
“All the tweets with the #GoSandile will be added to a Twitter Track for him “to walk on, to motivate and inspire him,” One School at a Time says.
After spending long periods in rehabilitation, he learnt to walk again and with a litte more work began to run on his new legs.
Nedbank has joined Mbili’s initiative, challenging him to raise money for the Jumping Kids Foundation.
The twitter handle @PhambiliSandile has been created in order to encourage members of the public to take part. The bank will also make a donation for every encouraging tweet Mbili receives using the hashtag #GoSandile.
Mbili, who never enjoyed running before he lost his legs, has found new strength within himself and now looks forward to every moment of his new running life.
— Bronwynne Wiehl (@BronyW) May 14, 2016
I was raised by physically disabled single-mother. Your courage reminds me of her @PhambiliSandile!
— Sihle Ngobese (@BigDaddyLiberty) May 13, 2016
You are braver than you seem and stronger than you think. One step at a time. #GoSandile
— Martin Bain Venn (@WalterBainVenn) February 26, 2016
— Brent Lindeque (@BrentLindeque) February 12, 2016
— Pepe Marais (@pepemarais) May 14, 2016
— Sandile Mbili (@PhambiliSandile) May 13, 2016