Let's Walk for Dean – Merrell Hiking Club
Life can change in an instant. One moment, everything may seem ordinary, and the next, a single event reshapes the course of a person's journey forever. Such is the story of Dean Basson, aged 32, a resilient soul who faced a life-altering incident.
On the 2 of July 2023, Dean was involved in a horrific accident during an off-road motorbike excursion, causing him to sustain multiple cervical spine fractures. At this stage, he was clinically diagnosed as a C5-complete quadriplegic. He spent 53 days in ICU, where he was on a ventilator due to a collapsed lung, and various other injuries that prevented his muscles and lungs from working independently. His heart muscles also sustained severe injuries, causing the need for a temporary pacemaker. On the 23rd of August, Dean was transferred to Aurora Rehabilitation Centre, and is on the path to recovery.
Though he and his family know this journey will be long, they are taking things one day at a time, overcoming each obstacle slowly. Despite the trauma that Dean and his family have endured, they have managed to maintain a positive attitude, and are doing whatever they can to assist with his recovery mentally and financially.
Amidst this trying time, Deans's mom reached out to Jenni Gault, knowing that with her platform and expertise, she could assist with their fundraising efforts. Of course, Jenni was more than happy to assist, especially after hearing his story and witnessing the online support that poured through for Dean.
“After hearing about Dean's story, a friend of his mother commented ‘Let’s walk for Dean,’ and that really struck a chord with me,” says Jenni.
Merrell Hiking Club has become a community where people can come together, support and encourage each other to enjoy the great outdoors. So of course, walking in Dean’s honour just felt right for Jenni. And so, she swiftly set into action, organising this hike, which will take place on the 25th of September, along the scenic 8km Schoenies trail in Gqeberha. Hikers are expected to meet at 7:00 for 7:30 a.m., and the fee will be R60. The fee will cover a bottle of water for all, as well as a Merrell Cap for the first 30 entrants.
“I am kicking off her Raffle fundraising next week and will be so pleased to donate a % from our Merrell Hiking Club hike,” says Jenni.
The Merrell Hiking Club isn't just about going on hikes. It's a group that cares for and lifts each other up when times are tough. The walk for Dean is a perfect example of what we envisioned for this club. It shows that you don't need to be an athlete to enjoy nature. You become part of a close-knit group, like a big family. Through events like this, we not only connect on the trails, but we also create strong bonds in our hearts and lives. The Merrell Hiking Club is more than just a hobby; it's a family, a support system, and a source of inspiration for all of us who choose to walk this journey together and explore the great outdoors.