Ruben is a little boy who was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma cancer in July 2014. On the 9th of December, Rhulani Safari Lodge guests had booked a rhino notching conservation activity with Madikwe Conservancy and Purple Rain Game Breeders and the arrangement was that there would be 7 guests… Only 5 guests arrived and when we enquired where the other two guests were, we were told the heart breaking story of little Ruben Scharneck, who was just feeling too ill to take on the long journey in the game drive vehicle from the very far west of Madikwe Game Reserve to the very far east of Madikwe Conservancy as his little body just would not be able to handle the bouncy game drive over that distance…
Very quickly we all decided that there was no ways that Ruben can miss out on this “once in a lifetime” experience to touch and feel a rhino – so we arranged for the helicopter to collect Ruben and his father Andre right at the doorstep of their lodge!
The little man had the privilege to see Madikwe from the air and to participate in our efforts to make a difference and save our rhino! It might have been a memorable experience for the Scharneck family, but it was a humbling experience for each and every one of us who had the privilege to meet this brave boy!
A message on Rubens facebook page today (20 December 2016) stated: “Ruben is very sick. All off his organs are packing up. He still made a joke yesterday and laughed at himself. You are so brave my little angel. I pray that God will take your pain away. And if it is time for you to go, just know that you were loved more than you could ever imagine”.
The Purple Rain family wishes for strength and courage for the Scharneck family, during this heart-breaking journey.