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David Grier to run 1,100km in 20 days to bring 10 smiles to 10 children - The Power of 10 challenge

Cipla Foundation, Cipla SA's social enterprise division, is planning an adventure which will see endurance athletes David Grier and Andrew Stuart running 1,100 kilometres over a period of 20 days with the aim of raising R110,000 over this period for the Cipla Miles for Smiles initiative, which raises funds and awareness for Operation Smile.
David Grier to run 1,100km in 20 days to bring 10 smiles to 10 children - The Power of 10 challenge
According to Grier, Managing Trustee of Cipla Foundation, we think the easiest part of the challenge is to run the 100km Thailand Ultramarathon, known as The Beast. “The tough part will be the lead up to the event where Andrew Stuart and I will start running the 1,000km from Bangkok on 25 October to reach the start of the ultramarathon in Thailand on 19 November.”

“The event also marks our 10th year of adventuring for the Cipla Miles for Smiles initiative and it is also a significant year for us as we have adventured across 10 countries over the past decade. It is these multiples of 10 that inspired us to run 10 times the distance of the Thailand ultramarathon. The Power of 10 challenge is growing rapidly as Leapfrog Property Group, who are celebrating their 10th year in business this year, are also supporting us. They aim to join us in assisting 10 children with cleft lips or palates, to have a corrective procedure each month for the next 10 months. This has been followed by a pledge of Fred Wille from Miltons Matsemela Attorneys who will also assist with funding for 10 operations,” explains Grier.

Grier adds that one in every 700 children in Africa is born with a cleft lip or palate and one in 10 babies born with this condition do not see their first birthday. “Malnutrition, medical and psychological problems also compound the problem. Life can be a difficult and complicated place for children and not being able to smile shouldn’t have to limit their experience of the world.”

Over the past 10 years David has covered nearly 25,000km on six adventures and in the process raised R 8.7m towards corrective cleft lip and palate surgeries for over 2,000 children. This challenge will kick of the latest campaign to raise an additional R1m for Operation Smile over the next year. Our ideal goal with the power of 10 challenge is to get this total up to R10m by the end of 2017.

Paul Miller, CEO of Cipla SA, says that the company encourages all South Africans to follow David’s journey from Bangkok to Thailand via his Facebook page and donate to this very worthy cause. Donations to Operation Smile is open and individuals, who wish to change lives of children and show support to the two runners for their remarkable feat, may contribute by visiting or by sending an SMS with the word Smiles to 39051 to donate R25.

“Try 10 times harder and you might be successful, but with 10 times the passion you will make a difference,” concludes David Grier.

The official campaign video can be viewed here. Be sure to follow the athletes’ progress and get regular updates about the funds raised on David Grier’s Facebook page or the Cipla SA and Cipla Foundation Facebook pages.

14 Nov 2016 10:09