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Maheya is riding for little heroes

Father and daughter ride bicycles to help kids who are living with muscular dystrophy disease.

Local resident Maheya Singh’s initial introduction to cycling came from her father as she sought to learn how to ride a bike. Little did she know that this introduction would spark a passion within her that she wouldn’t let go of.

Today, she is not only an avid cyclist but also rides for charitable causes. She said she was inspired by her father to take part in the 94.7 Ride Joburg cycling event hosted by the Muscular Dystrophy Foundation of South Africa (MDF), a non-profit organisation aimed to support people affected by muscular dystrophy (MD), a group of genetic diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle, to help to improve their quality of life.

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Robert Scott, acting general manager of the organisation said, “We have for many years had a group of amazing young children who take part in the 94.7 Kids Cycling Race and have become known as our ‘Little Heroes of Hope’. The children have been doing this event for the last 10 years and in 2024, we are hoping to make it our most successful event ever.”

Maheya said her father has done more than 12 of the 94.7 Cycle Challenge races.

The little heroes in one frame.
The little heroes in one frame.

“Every year he rides for the organisation and this is where I learnt about the event. I have done many kiddies 94.7 races, all of which I rode for the organisation. When he told me about the event, I immediately knew I wanted to help raise awareness for the little heroes.”

She said the rides are always great fun and she was enjoying them even more knowing that she was cycling with the purpose of helping people made the effort so much more worth it.

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“The hills are difficult and can be tiring especially in the heat making my 10-year-old legs really sore, but I always remind myself that this is to help a little kid to be able to go outside perhaps in a wheelchair just to be a kid.

Maheya started helping her dad raise funds for MDF when she was only four years old. She said she was selling muffins while her dad was doing the Johannesburg to Cape Town ride raising awareness and funds for the condition.

“It has taught me to not take everyday activities for granted. I am a little girl who loves to go outside and run cycle or do cartwheels on the lawn. I love gymnastics and do most of the things that little kids should be doing. However, I also know that MD has restricted a lot of kids, who are not able to do these things. Learning about it has encouraged me to persevere with the challenges I may have. I am very appreciative of my well-being, and helping kids with MD makes me a little happier.

“My dad’s best friend has muscular dystrophy, and I see how limited his movements are by even wanting to hold a cup in his hand or text on his mobile phone. It can be a terrible disease and the foundation tries their hardest to make the lives of kids with the disease a little easier and better and I thank them for that. I will always and continuously help MDF to create awareness and raise funds for them.”

Scott said they are planning to raise R20 000 that will be used to support these charitable endeavours.

Details: 011 472 9824 and email: mdfgauteng@mdsa.org.za

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