Community parties for brave Becky

SUFFOLK has thrown open its arms to a South African girl battling HIV and raised enough money to cover a year's worth of medical expenses for her and five other girls.

SUFFOLK has thrown open its arms to a South African girl battling HIV and raised enough money to cover a year's worth of medical expenses for her and five other girls.

Around 300 people crammed into the Ipswich Caribbean Association in Woodbridge Road on Saturday to raise money for 12-year-old Becky who is visiting her adoptive parents Xris and Karl Kroger, who live in Ravenswood.

The Suffolk School of Samba performed alongside Ipswich's African Song Group, 20 Djembe drummers and The Roger Band in an evening celebrating African music and culture.

The groups had all volunteered for the fundraiser as people from across Suffolk came together to raise money for Becky and the One to One Children's Fund which finances the anti retroviral (ARV) drugs trial which has transformed her life.


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The evening smashed all fundraising expectations and raised £1,463 in donations. Ipswich firm Goddard and Co Estate Agents then vowed to match the amount - bringing the total raised to just under £3,000.

A thrilled Mrs Kroger, of Mansbrook Boulevard, said the £3,000, which converts into more than 42,000 South African Rand, would cover the medical expenses for Becky and the five HIV positive girls she lives with at Arnold Cottage in Cape Town for an entire year.

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She said: “It is absolutely staggering. I'm completely shocked by how much was raised. I was hoping to make £300.

“You can't imagine how much it will do.

“Becky was just so pleased that everybody was happy on the night and she was thinking of how happy her friends back in South Africa would be.”

Jeremy Goddard, partner at Goddard and Co, said his decision to match-fund the donations from Saturday's event came after he met Becky, whose parents both died from Aids.

He said: “We thought it was such a worthwhile cause.

“It's not a lot of money in England and if it helps a human life then it's worthwhile.”

As well as going towards medical expenses, the money raised will also help purchase clothes, school books, pots and pans and other items needed by the convent.

n Have you been moved by Becky's story? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Weblinks:

www.one2onekids.org

www.nazhouse.org.za

BECKY arrived in Ipswich last month after the vital anti retroviral drugs she takes made her well enough to travel from her home in Cape Town.

It is the first time she has travelled to England to see her adoptive parents Xris and Karl Kroger, who emigrated to Ipswich from their home in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 1999.

Later this month Becky will return to Cape Town where she is cared for by the sisters at Arnold Cottage, a home run by the Nazareth House convent which specialises in caring for children affected by HIV/Aids.

Becky's birth parents both died from Aids and Mrs Kroger adopted her weeks after her birth. It was not thought she would survive but her specialist care at Nazareth House and the drugs trial at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town have helped her look to the future.

To send a donation to help Becky and her friends at Arnold Cottage send a cheque made out to the One to One Children's Fund to Rita Eker, One to One Children's Fund, Carradine House, 237 Regents Park Road, London, N3 3LF or call 020 8343 4234. Include an accompanying note explaining your donation is for Becky's fund.

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