13 Peaks
Photo Credit: The Bam Family / Erica Haworth

Richard Bam was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma, a rare cancer, in 2018; he has fought tirelessly but now his only option is immunotherapy. His friends are doing the 13 Peaks Challenge to help raise funds.


Cape Town, South Africa (20 March 2023) – Richard Bam has undergone years of treatment to overcome his Synovial Sarcoma diagnosis. Through extensive research, his family found a treatment that could finally work so they started raising the funds needed to travel to Germany. Richard’s friends have jumped on board to raise awareness and funds by doing the 13 Peaks Challenge.

Richard’s mother Jeanne had launched a BackaBuddy fund to raise the R2.5 million needed for dendritic cell therapy in German. The therapy, which isn’t funded by local medical aids nor available in South Africa, is currently being administered to Richard overseas. He has thankfully been able to complete two rounds of immunotherapy so far.

“In 2018 I was diagnosed with Synovial Sarcoma, a rare cancer that targets soft tissue. I was 15 years old. After multiple surgeries, radiation and 6 months of high-dose chemotherapy it seemed that I had come out the other side and I was in remission for 18 months. Unfortunately, the cancer returned and had spread throughout my lungs. I managed to get through high school while juggling radiation and surgeries and since then have been on numerous strong chemotherapies, radiation and targeted therapies. None worked. The fact is that this cancer has proven extremely aggressive and I am running out of ways to keep fighting. I am no longer able to handle this on my own which is why I am now reaching out.” – Richard Bam

While initially, the fund reached over R700,000 it has slowed down due to a lack of awareness. Determined to change this, Richard’s friends first took to the streets in February to drum up some excitement in the community and to hand out flyers sharing their intention to do the 13 Peaks Challenge.

“Richard has had a tight group of friends throughout his schooling who have been absolutely amazing and supportive, and generally boys and parents from SACS too.

I would just like to thank all the youngsters out there [at the February Awareness Drive] for highlighting his plight. Also, to all the parents out there who have been so supportive and raised such awesome kids. There is absolutely good in all of our youngsters, sometimes you just have to look for it.

Richard has shown resilience and grace throughout his treatment. He has been knocked down so many times but picks himself up and just keeps going – he even survived a chemotherapy overdose. He remains polite and even-tempered and gives the faintest of smiles even when he is feeling really crappy. I am in awe of my boy each and every day. I’m grateful every single day for family, friends and the love that has come our way.” – Jeanne Bam

The friends started the challenge this past weekend and will complete it on Human Rights Day, the 21st of March 2023. The 13 Peaks challenge is a 100km, 6000m ascent route tagging 13 peaks of the Cape Peninsula,

The 13 Peaks route goes as follows – Start and finish at Signal Hill and tag peaks 1 -13 in that order.

  1. Signal Hill
  2. Lions Head
  3. Maclears Beacon
  4. Grootkop
  5. Judas Peak
  6. Klein Leeu Kop
  7. Suther Peak
  8. Chapmans Peak
  9. Noordhoek Peak
  10. Muizenberg Peak
  11. Constantiaberg
  12. Klassenkop
  13. Devils Peak

If you would like to support Richard, you can find the BackaBuddy link here. Every cent raised will go towards the remainder of Richard’s treatment. And if you see his friends running the route, be sure to give them a cheer or a hoot to let them know you are supporting their efforts for Richard.

Sources: BackaBuddy / The Village 1 & 2
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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