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Heroes Among Us

Category: Inspiration

We have heroes walking amongst us. Some covered with scars of battle. Due to our obliviousness of this, they aren’t given recognition, and we fail to show the faith humanity has.

Meet Darryn August, a 28 year old Cape Townian. On the 25th of April 2016, Darryn was flung out of a moving train whilst trying to protect 2 women from a robbery.  He was on his way to his job where he worked as a facilitator, teaching life skills to high school students, would change his life indefinitely.

“I was the first person they wanted to rob, the person in their way. The ladies were hidden in the corner while they were busy with me. So inadvertently, I saved their lives by using myself as a decoy. I made a promise to myself ages before that day that if ever I saw anyone in a dangerous situation I'd do whatever I can to help, come what may” – says Darryn.

After being numerously beaten on the head, he was flung out of the moving train carriage and found unconscious at a nearby tree. In his courageous attempt to save two strangers from harm’s way, Darryn is now paralyzed from waist down.

It wasn’t long before Darryn’s story became a wave on social media. His friend, Graeme Kuys saw posts about what had occurred and was compelled to help.

“I'm not a religious man but I am a man of faith and when God prompts you to do something, you do it! The Darryn I knew was so full of life and energy; you could barely restrain him in a chair for 10 minutes. He had given so much to others through educational programs and coaching and it was hard to think of him in a hospital bed struggling to come to terms with his injuries.” Says Graeme

BackaBuddy, an online crowd funding platform designed to help individuals raise funds for causes they are passionate about, was created on the 6th of May 2016, in hopes to raise R50 000 for Darryns medical fees. Graeme pledged to cycle laps of Steenbras viewpoint, a total elevation of 8848m, which is equal to that of Mt. Everest. In a few short days, more than half a million was raised for the local hero.

“I first attempted an ‘Everest’ on the Steenbras climb in 2015 and failed, so I had unfinished business with that mountain. I knew it was going to be brutally hard but I thought it would give people a great incentive to support Darryn.” Says Graeme

God’s spirit not only called upon Graeme to help Darryn, but had Wimpie van de Merwe and Daryn Goldsbrough roped into completing the Mt. Everest challenge. Unfortunately, after a few days of joining in the cycling, another Good Samaritan, Alessandro Valperga passed away in a hit and run accident.

Through all that was happening, Darryn kept the faith, remained selfless, and had no regrets.

“Looking back, I wouldn't change anything as I believe that everything happens the way it’s supposed to. I managed to impact someone else's life in some way. I was fortunate to meet the women right after that day; it was a really emotional and overwhelming experience. I just wanted to make sure they were safe” – says Darryn.

Through generous donations, Darryn began his treatment at Tygerberg hospital where he stayed for over a month.

“The funds have been used sparingly, it’s been used to firstly get me the very best in health equipment in the forms of physical rehabilitation such as physiotherapy, electromagnetic stimulus, hydrotherapy and other non evasive treatments just to mention a few”

Darryn has not only spent the last 19 months focusing on his recovery. He has also remained active in his community as a motivational speaker.

“I've been focused on furthering my passion for youth development via facilitation and capacity building at NGO level through the Institute for Social Concerns (ISC), a not-for-profit, community based organization, working with children, youth and adults in underserved communities. I'd also love to start an initiative that raises more awareness about the disabled community. I feel not much is being done in South Africa to change perceptions around disability. I want to open the eyes of the world and help people see their potential. Just because I am in a wheelchair doesn't mean I'm less ‘able’ to do something” – says Darryn.

The incident has not stopped Darryn from accomplishing physical activities. He has his sights on competing in the Paralympics. He will start his training for track and field events for a paraplegic association at Stellenbosch University, in a few month’s time.

“My long-term goal, that has me excited, is to eventually become part of the national paraplegic team at the Olympic Games!”

Darryn would like to share this message with his supporters:

“I cannot emphasize these two words enough: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU .Your contributions have been life changing for me in every aspect of my life. I'm fortunate enough to have the best medical care possible, as well as live my life in the best possible manner, because of your contributions I've been given a second chance at life.

We are all God’s children, and just like in a family, we ought to help each other. In the most unlikely way ever, even the ‘victim’ is put in a position to extend God’s vision. With so many untold stories, even in the one you’re in, remember to consult with God and let him lead the way... with a willing heart.

Call to action: 

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Stay blessed.