Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult things to overcome as a family. For many, they look to one another for strength and ways to move forward. This was the reality for Sybrand and Ronel de Beer in 2017, after they lost their daughter Lumé to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) at the tender age of 11.
ARDS is a severe and life-threatening lung condition that causes low blood oxygen. Mainly caused by injury or trauma to the lungs, ARDS causes fluid to leak into the lungs. People who develop ARDS usually have a pre-existing illness or condition that is worsened by the condition, but its primary cause is still unknown.
As a tribute to Lumé’s life, Legacy of Love was founded. Her passing was sudden and unexpected and came as a shock to both Sybrand and Ronel, as she was a healthy and athletic child who loved playing netball. Following her death, Ronel started a blog where she spoke openly about her grief, hoping to comfort the families going through the same pain. Soon enough, the blog grew into a platform for people to share their stories and comfort each other.
Legacy of Love Nedbank Desert Dash Team
In 2018, Sybrand’s brother, Johan de Beer, entered the Nedbank Desert Dash and rode in the Legacy of Love colours in remembrance of Lumé. This gesture inspired both Sybrand and Ronel to join the Desert Dash the following year. By 2019, a total of 23 riders joined the race riding for Legacy of Love, and this number has been rising each year.
The Legacy of Love team consists of two married couples, Sybrand and Ronel de Beer, and Johan and Adriana de Beer. The team has its fair share of challenges, including balancing being fulltime parents and having hefty work schedules. However, they are committed to their cause and stick to a strict riding schedule on weekends. Each member is responsible for raising funds by collecting pledges from companies for each kilometre they ride during the dash. Their primary goal is to raise N$20,000 in pledges, which will be used for various Legacy of Love projects, including comfort boxes for the bereaved.
With the help of Nedbank Namibia, Legacy of Love has been able to bypass the entry fee and focus on their goal: shining a light on bereaved families and ensuring all proceeds go to causes that will help them. Before the race, the Legacy of Love team gives parents a candle with their child’s name on it,
which they need to keep burning for the 24-hour duration of the dash. This serves as a symbol of remembrance of their child, and to honour the parents who are left to navigate the harsh desert of grief.
‘It is difficult to lose a loved one in your family, especially a child. The sad thing is that none of us are guaranteed not to lose a loved one. In fact, it will happen sometime, which is why the charity is a platform for anyone who lost a loved one to carry on the legacy of that person and to show their love,’ said Sybrand.
To those who wish to get involved, Sybrand says the Legacy of Love is open to receiving contributions, including donations, goodwill, and volunteers so that Legacy of Love can support all beneficiaries in whatever way they may need.
‘All of us are potentially beneficiaries of Legacy of Love, or we will be at some point in the future. Let’s get involved now and contribute in any way possible,’ he added.
For more information on the Legacy of Love and how you can donate to the cause, visit legacyoflove.co.