Support high tea for Allen

Malay choir club Hoppers is calling on residents to support their high tea fund-raiser for former Strandfontein resident Allen Petersen, at Spine Road High School on Monday May 1.

Organiser and choir club member Sakeena Frenchman said Mr Petersen has been paralysed from the neck down since a diving accident at Fourth beach 12 years ago.

At the time he was 18 years old and in matric. He now lives with family members in Parklands.

“After therapy, Allen managed to regain feeling in his left arm. His story is quite extraordinary, being paralysed from the neck down, didn’t break his spirit,” she said.

Mr Petersen is in his fourth year at UCT and is studying Public Science, Public Administration and Public Law.

“He really puts me to shame when I think of all the things I complain about. He is set up at a residence at the moment that is wheelchair-friendly. He has a hoist that transfers him from the chair to his bed and back,” she said.

Ms Frenchman said it is problematic when he is home, as it is not wheelchair friendly.

She said two people have to move him and his parents don’t have the strength to lift him anymore.

Ms Frenchman said one of their members came across a post from Allen’s father, Randall Petersen, describing Allen’s academic achievements despite his extreme disability.

“He has never asked for any financial assistance regardless of the obstacles he faced on a daily basis. His family’s desire to do ‘normal’ things with him was very limited because of his disability,” said Ms Frenchman.

“We realised just how blessed we are to have our kids with us every day and being able to enjoy life to the fullest with them. Things that Allen can never do with his family, this inspired us to do something for him. Everyone was on board and most of the preparations takes place after hours as we are all working during the day,” she said.

The Hoppers is a group of five members, established to promote the culture and history of the Malay choir.

“Our goal from here on is to go into the communities and identity organisations that get little to no exposure. But before we can do this we need to have a little fund-raiser of our own so that we can purchase some equipment,” she said.

The event will have performances by the Richards family, Sumaya Hendricks, Wasief Pikaan, The A2 and Iekeraam Cupido.

For more information contact Rashieda Mohamed Floris on 079 245 7656 or email rashiedafloris12@gmail.com or Sakeena Frenchman on 063 177 5829 or email sakeenafrench@icloud.com