Hanover’s Park’s little beauty queen, Keegan “Apple” Croy has become a lifetime Ambassador for the Jedi Tedi Campaign, and says she’s ready to make a difference in the lives of sick kids.
The 11-year-old, who is the current Miss Pre-Teen South Africa, will be working closely with Jedi Tedi, an organisation which raises awareness about a rare children’s disease.
The non-profit organisation was created by the family of Jed Kagan, 12, of Cape Town who suffers from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), a rare chronic disease which affects the nerve pathways of the body, causing extreme and constant pain.
There is no cure for the disease and, to date, there are only 21 known cases in South Africa.
Jed’s mom, Shana Kagan, says he suddenly fell ill in 2016.
“After a string of misdiagnoses and blind confusion about Jed’s condition, we as parents were distraught and at our wits’ end,” she says.
“Our son was in undocumented pain for weeks, that seemed to appear out of nowhere, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.”
They eventually ended up at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital, where Jed became the 10th child in Africa to be diagnosed and treated for the rare CRPS disease.
Jed has since regained his ability to walk and Shana then decided to start a campaign to raise awareness about the disease.
They now raise money to knit teddy bears which they distribute to make people aware of the illness.
Shana says Keegan was chosen as an ambassador for Jedi Tedi because of her age.
“She was chosen because she is the same age as my son, the age has an impact because this disease impacts children at this age,” she says.
Over the weekend Keegan met Jed and helped with the distribution of Jedi Tedis.
Keegan says: “It is amazing to be part of this because this is something that makes everyone feel happy.”