Six-year-old, Zamokuhle Msomi, who was born with a congenital heart defect (CHD), and suffered with deformed lower limbs, wanted nothing more than to spend time browsing the aisles of his favourite toy store.

The little boy from Mandeni, north of Durban, recently had his greatest dream realised, thanks to the Reach for a Dream Foundation and leading toy retailer, Toys R Us South Africa.

The bright eyed pre-schooler was given an exclusive shopping experience sponsored by Toys R Us Gateway to play in-store and gather the toy items he loved the most.

“We are so pleased to be able to bring joy to this little dreamer, Zamokuhle, by making his dream come true with the gift of play. We salute the wonderful work done by the Reach for a Dream[SC1]  foundation and we will continue to support their efforts as best as we can,” says Nicole Jansen Van Vuuren, marketing manager Toys R Us & Babies R Us South Africa.

Msomi was diagnosed with a hole in his heart at birth and in addition was unable to take his first steps in early childhood due to the condition called genu-valgum in which the knees angle in and touch each other when the legs are straightened.

“I noticed that he had a problem with his legs when he struggled to walk. He experienced problems mobilising and had to use crutches to move around. It has been difficult for him to walk, he can’t play with other kids as well as his younger four-year-old brother.” said his mother Nqobile.

His mother described him as “such a happy and playful boy” adding that it broke her heart to see him endure so many challenges at such a young age.

“I just want to see him laugh and smile and be happy and I am so glad he is feeling that way today. He was overjoyed when I told him we were going to make his dream come true with lots of toys. He just wants to feel like a normal child,” she said.

Msomi underwent corrective surgery in June and is due to return for heart surgery in March next year.

He is receiving on-going treatment at KwaZulu-Natal’s regional hospital, Inkosi Albert Luthuli. He is known to both the orthopaedic and cardiac departments where he is reviewed every month.

“These kids fight every single day of their lives. This is a particularly special year for us as the foundation celebrates 30 years of existence, and we hope to continue encouraging each and every individual dreamer to remain hopeful and to believe that anything is possible. We want to ensure that what they wished for has come true. We want to inspire hope through the power of a dream,” said Kerry Donkin, Reach for a Dream KZN manager.

In celebration of being a beacon of hope for three decade, Toys R Us SA has partnered with Reach for a Dream Foundation by launching a special range of cuddly teddy bears.

These soft plush toys are available in a variety of characters at Toys R Us stores nationwide and will bring new meaning to the “gift of giving” where thousands of terminally ill children are set to benefit from the sale of these bears.

Customers have the option of either buying a bear, where R5.00 is donated to the Foundation or they could donate the bear directly to the Foundation where the team could take them to several sick children in hospital. A tag attached to each bear including a special message for the child receiving it can be completed by the donor. 

“This is a symbol of hope and joy for kids who are facing challenging circumstances and we encourage our customers to support this wonderful initiative,” adds Van Vuuren.