Valentine challenge to show real love by helping transplant girl, 9

Rose-Leigh Usher…race to raise funds for bone marrow transplant.

With the recent buzz around Valentines Day, the notion of love has been a topical subject in most communities, driven of course by the commercial sentiment behind February 14.

A Gateway News correspondent in Durban has however come across a 9-year-old cancer patient’s story that challenges Christians to apply love in its true form,  as Christ intended, by loving our neighbours (Matthew 22: 37 – 40) and loving as Christ loved us — unconditionally (John 13: 34-35).

A Durban pastor, who has donated R1 000 towards a bone marrow transplant for Rose-Leigh Usher, a 9 year old cancer patient from Wentworth, south of Durban, has challenged other Chrisitans to match or better his contribution.

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Rare, aggressive cancer
Rose-Leigh, who has a rare aggressive cancer has been in hospital since mid-2012 while a search for a bone marrow donor match has been ongoing.

The good news is they’ve found a donor match… overseas!

While the match has been reserved for her, it can only be held for two more weeks (starting from February 11). Her family needs to raise R300 000 for the stem cell transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town.

Because of the urgency of the matter Rose-Leigh’s family, friends and community are doing anything and everything to raise the money – cakes sales the like – but that is not going to raise R300 000 in two weeks.

Rose-Leigh Project 3 000
So the family are embarking on the Rose-Leigh Project 3 000 initiative. “We are appealing to 3 000 people to each donate R100 into Rose-Leigh’s Trust Account,” her mother, Rosemary, explained.

On a larger scale the family are appealing to the business and corporate world to also make donations. “Any donation is appreciated. It all adds up,” she said.

A FaceBook campaign has already yielded results.

Rose-Leigh’s parents are hoping that the broader Christian community will give what they can in response to the challenge made by Pastor Anton Marillier from Assemblies of God Family Church in Newlands East, for  fellow Christians to match or better his contribution.

Dance Movement
Love is also flowing towards Rose-Leigh from youngsters from Dance Movement (under Dance Director Jarryd Watson) who are championing the cause on Wentworth’s community front. They have donated R1 000 towards Rose-Leigh’s fundraising efforts.

Dance Movement, headed by award-winning choreographer Jarryd Watson, hail mainly from Wentworth, Sydenham and the Bluff. With Watson’s help they have overcome much and even staged their own original production, Rhythm, at The Playhouse last year.

Dance Movement was first started as an avenue for disadvantaged youth from Wentworth to be trained in dance and to get professional exposure. To date they have a list of accolades under their belt, including walking off with 12 trophies from the United Dance Organisation (UDO) World Street Dance Championships in 2011 in the United Kingdom.

They have also thrilled audiences during performances at the renowned Jomba! dance festival stage, where Jarryd Watson was also awarded the inaugural Eric Shabalala Dance Champion Award. The award acknowledges the recipient’s contribution to developing dance and training and education in dance in a challenging environment – where the recipient has dedicated themselves to this despite, for example, having little or no funding.

Any donations towards the transplant costs can be deposited into Rose-Leigh Emily Usher Trust, Standard Bank Current Account Number 051 707 772, Bluff Branch, Branch Code 043326.

The full account details for donors overseas are – Swift Code: SBZAZAJJ, Account Number 051707772, Rose-Leigh Emily Usher Trust, Bluff Branch, Branch Code 043326, Shop 39 Hillside Bluff Mall, 201 Tara Road, 4052.

Anyone wanting to see proof in the form of support documents from the Health Department (confirming the amount of money needed and Rose-Leigh’s medical condition), from Standard Bank (confirming the Trust Account) and a previous article for background information; can email

If you are in Durban on 22 February, you are urged to  come and support the Have a Laugh, Save a Life comedy benefit show at the BAT Centre.

Comedians Dusty Rich, Jem Atkins, Carvin H Goldstone, Neil Green, Lil Paul, Se-Anne, Liam Johns and other’s have banded together to help raise funds for Rose-Leigh. The show starts at 20h00. Tickets are R100 from Computicket, Shoprite Checkers, on 086 1915 8000 and Computicket or at the door. If you don’t have R100 any respectable donation will be appreciated.

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