It started with a charity golf day and a lemonade stand run by her five-year-old daughter, Tannah. Eight years and seven golf days later Tannah’s Gift, an established charity, founded by Judy Bloomfield has raised almost R600 000 for the Netcare Foundation’s cleft lip and palate programme.
Through the years Judy Bloomfield’s involvement with the Netcare Foundation, which reaches out nationally to disadvantaged individuals with certain medical conditions who are in dire need of assistance, has escalated considerably.
This year Judy entered the Mrs SA pageant, in which she is one of the finalists, and she has chosen to represent Tannah’s Gift and the Netcare Foundation to raise further awareness for two important causes that are close to her heart.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year was the first time in seven years that the golf tournament could not go ahead. Our work however continued, as we pivoted to assisting public healthcare facilities in need of life-saving personal protection equipment (PPE).
“The annual Tannah’s Gift Golf Day is back on track this year, and was held at Huddle Park Golf Club on 4 November with the prizegiving hosted at Ridgeway. We were delighted to raise R70 000 in donations this year,” says Judy Bloomfield.
|annah Bloomfield with the lemonade stand she used to raise money for cleft lip and palate sufferers at the first fundraising event held in November 2013. Tannah who was five-years old at the time, was determined to have a lemonade stand at the golf day, so she could help raise money to “fix the lips” of children like her. Offering cold glasses of lemonade as welcome drinks to participants and spectators, she managed to raise R1 200 towards helping young babies with cleft lip and palate.
|udy Bloomfield, finalist in the Mrs SA pageant has chosen to represent Tannah’s Gift and the Netcare Foundation to raise further awareness for two important causes that are close to her heart. Photograph by Meggan Wilcox
How it all started
Judy’s daughter Tannah, who is now 13 years old, was born with a cleft lip and palate, a medical condition known for causing speech and eating difficulties and impeding physical and social development if not treated early. One in 12 babies around the world is born with this condition, although in some regions like Asia it affects as many as one in seven children.
“Tannah was, however, one of the lucky ones, as her parents were on medical aid and were therefore able to pay for a series of operations to correct the condition. Tannah’s first operation was done when she was just three months old by Professor Laurence Chait, whose multi-disciplinary practice at Netcare Park Lane Hospital has treated hundreds of cleft lip and palate patients – most of them children – since its establishment in 2002.
“If left untreated, a cleft lip and palate is a severe deformity that could impede normal functioning, especially when it comes to speech. Many of the sufferers’ families do not have the means to pay for these operations, so these individuals are often ostracised and unable to fulfil their full potential due to a lack of understanding about their condition,” adds Bloomfield.
“Our first fundraising event was a golf day held in November 2013, which raised R65 000. The response was phenomenal. Wanting to contribute, Tannah who was five-years old at the time, was determined to have a lemonade stand at the golf day, so she could help raise money to “fix the lips” of children like her. Offering cold glasses of lemonade as welcome drinks to participants and spectators, she managed to raise R1 200 towards helping young babies with cleft lip and palate so that they too could do things that we all take for granted – like being part of a preschool graduation ceremony or going to a mainstream school.
“Since then, Tannah’s Gift has become an established charity and we have devoted most of our time to assisting children like Tannah,” Bloomfield says.
The work of the Netcare Foundation
Mande Toubkin, Netcare’s general manager: emergency, trauma, transplant and corporate social investment, explains that Netcare is offering the resources at its disposal to help people needing life-altering corrective surgery for a range of medical conditions.
“Through our craniofacial, cleft lip and palate, cataract surgery and cochlear implant programmes, we are offering free medical interventions that will help alleviate the burdens faced by disadvantaged individuals afflicted with these conditions,” she says.
The Netcare Foundation was established in 2010 and is registered as a public benefit company governed by a board of trustees.
“Aside from the physical aspects of such medical conditions, many people with craniofacial anomalies or cleft lip and palate are often stigmatised and shunned by society,” she notes.
“The Netcare Foundation in partnership with various healthcare practitioners and organisations such as Tannah’s Gift, has changed the lives of hundreds of South Africans afflicted with these conditions through its CSI programmes. We thank them, and our Netcare hospitals, for supporting the Netcare Foundation and for helping many people to realise their full potential, and hope to help many more in future,” concludes Toubkin.
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For more information on this media release, contact MNA at the contact details listed below.
Issued by: MNA on behalf of Netcare Foundation
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Meggan Saville, Estene Lotriet-Vorster or Clemmy Forsthofer
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