Monday, May 30, 2011

Brandon Golf day

I want to thank each and every one of you for making Brandon’s Golf day such a huge success. I still have tears in my eyes when I think of Brandon coming onto stage with a big smile and when his brother Marco gave his speech. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one crying, they are truly a very brave family.
Thank you to all the Fourball players, the Sponsors and for the great prizes that were given to make this day even more successful. We managed to raise approximately R180 000.

A heartfelt thank you for all the support!

Brandon Golf day

Hi to all my friends and family,

I am Brandon Thomas Menezes. I am 10 years old and live in Germiston.
I was born with Diastrophic Dysplasia which is a skeletal condition. (A type of dwarfism)
All my major limbs are shorter in proportion to my body and my major joints are stiff and contracted. I can’t
make a fist with my hands and I can’t straighten my legs - just to mention a few of the symptoms. If you look at
my face and my torso- you will think that I am an average height person.
The part mostly affected is my lower legs and feet. I have had 5 reconstructive operations which kept me mobile
for only 3 months at a time. It has been so traumatic and would have to be done biannually for me to be mobile
for 6 months a year and in trauma the other 6 months while the surgery heals in cast & traction etc. This made
it very difficult for me to have a good quality of life as my school work would be affected and I like school so
much and really did not want to have major operations twice a year.
My mommy and many of the bone doctors (Orthopaedic surgeons) in South Africa did research on my
conditions and liaised with doctors in the USA too. They even considered Magic limbs as seen on Carte
Blanche some time ago, but that is not suitable for me.
There are more people with some sort of Skeletal Dysplasia in America. (there may be many in Africa too- but
not all of them go to the doctors so we don’t know of them) The conclusion was that the contraction would just
reoccur after each operation and I’d have to have reconstructive surgery very often. An alternative to surgery
was that I should use a motorised devise or a wheel chair if I wanted to be mobile.
I am a very intelligent and active little boy who is in a normal school and don’t want to be bound to a wheel
chair. They also don’t know if I’ll ever be mobile for long if they do the reconstructive surgery, even after I
stopped growing. Chances are slim.
I have been walking around on my hands and knees for the last 4-5 years. I have crutches, but it is getting
more difficult to use as the flexion in my legs progress. I prefer to walk on my knees at the moment, it is easier.
After many months of extensive investigation and research, myself, the doctors, my parents and family have
decided to amputate my lower legs and then give me Prosthetic Legs. It will give me a better quality of life and
will be best for me.
I’ll be able to do so many things the way anyone else does it; wear shoes, nice pants, carry my own school bag,
reach the counter tops, brush my teeth standing next to the basin, switch on the light, climb into the car, ride my
bicycle, skateboard, jump on the trampoline, and walk around with my friends. The doctors say I can do
ANYTHING i want to with my new legs. No more annoying crutches that lay next to my desk in class, that my
teacher or class mates trip over, no more sore hands, elbows and shoulders or wheel chair that gets in the way.
Walking on crutches really hurt my arms.
Walking on legs and feet is my biggest dream!
I can’t wait to carry things with my hands instead of having to hold crutches and someone carrying my things for
I am going to Sunninghill Clinic where the Bilateral through knee amputation operation will be done by Dr Mark
Eltringham.The medical aid’s annual limits for Prosthetic limbs are R24, 000. My new legs will cost about R300, 000.

I hope that you will be a part of my dream come true!
Brandon Menezes