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Young Hero's Dream Comes True: A Heartwarming Encounter With Rugby Star Eben Etzebeth

By Reach For A Dream

In a heartwarming tale of resilence, hope, and the power of dreams, nine-year-old Blayke Fourie, a brave young boy recovering from a kidney transplant, realised a dream beyond his wildest imagintation - meeting the official Sharks team and spending time with his hero, Eben Etzebeth.

From a hume home in Roodepoort, Johannesburg, Blayke is a huge fan of rugby and has battled progressive kidney failure for the past four years until recieving a life-saving kidney transplant from his father in December of last year.

Ready to experience an unforgettable dream made possible by Reach For A Dream's annual Slipper Day campaign in partnership with Wimpy, Blayke and his father, Paul Fourie, were swept off bright and early on the red-eye flight to King Shaka Airport.

Kitted out in Sharks gear, Blayke and his dad went on a personal tour of the Hollywoodbets King Park Stadium, and then got to meet and watch some of his Sprinbok heroes, while the sharks team trained. Already overwhelmed with joy, little Blayke was in for another surpirse, a one-on-one lunch date with his idol, Eben Etzebeth.

Young Blayke has faced tough times with a smile and embodies all qualities he looks up to in his hero, Etzebth: Strength, courage, and a never-give-up attitude. For Blayke, whose day-to-day reality has been challenged with illness, meeting a towering figure both on and off the field, was a dream that seemed beyong reach.

"Meeting Eben Etzebeth was a dream come true. He's my hero, he is so strong and brave," says Blayke, his eyes sparkling with joy. Blayke dreams of becoming a "children's doctor" (pediatrician), in the hopes of helping other children face difficult illnesses.

Double World Cup-winning Springbok Etzebeth, known for his tenacity and leadership on the rugby field, was deeply moved by Blayke's positivity, courage, and bright spirit. "Blayke's determination is truly inspiring. It's amazing spending time with a little child and being a father, being with children is a blessing, especially seeing such joy on Blayke's face," says Etzebeth.

The realisation of Blayke's dream highlights the transformative impact of initiatives like Slipper Day, which aims to bring moments of joy, respite and hope to children battling critical diseases and life-threatening ilnesses. Since its inception in 1988, Reach For A Dream has turned over 27,670 dreams into reality, offering children like Blayke a temporary escape from the challenges they face.

Juila Sotiranakos, CEO of Reach For A Dream, emphasises the importance of fulfilling these dreams. "dreams provide sick children with hope and inspiration, reminding them that they are not alone in their fight. We invite everyone to support Slipper Day and make a difference in the lives of these courageous youngsters," she says.

"we've been a proud partner of this inspiring initiative for a decade this year. With our wide footprint across the country, we are able to make sure that Slipper Day stickers are easily accessible to the public and we encourage all South Africans to get involved and support Slipper Day," says Jodi Law, Wimpy Manager.

Supporters can join the cause by purchasing a Slipper Day sticker for R20 each from various outlets including Wimpy, Pic 'n Pay, Dis-chem Pharmacies, Dis-Chem Baby City, Toys R Us, Babies R Us, Krispy Kreme and

Those who wear their stickers and slippers to Wimpy on May 31st will receive a free Famous Coffee or Hot Chocolate for children under 12.

Visit to buy your stickers and a pair of funky slippers or socks, or to find out more about Slipper day. Let's make more dreams a reality, together!


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