History is Made: Billy Macleod is SA’s First Heart Transplant Recipient to Complete a Stage Race!

By Liesl Viljoen, Head of Marketing


On Thursday, 25 April 2024, just 17 months post-transplant, Billy Macleod successfully completed the KAP sani2c Trail. The three-day MTB stage race saw Billy and his teammate Conrad “Con” Malherbe, aka team “Change of Heart”, spend 18 hours, 46 mins and 19 secs in the saddle, ride 271 km, climb 3965 m, descend 5397 m and touch countless lives, and AllLife was with them every step of the way!

You’ve cheered him on and followed his story, from training for the big adventure through the disappointment of learning that his teammate, AllLife CEO, Steph Bester had picked up a viral chest infection and wasn’t medically cleared to race, to finding a new teammate in Con and all the way to the finish line. So, let’s enjoy Billy’s historic race in pictures.

From a personal perspective, I want to say what a privilege it was to be on-the-ground at sani2c, supporting and seconding the remarkable team of Billy and Con. Billy is very well-liked and that, coupled with the admiration everyone was feeling for his courageous sani2c endeavour, meant everybody wanted to chat with him. So, it was quite a challenge to make sure that he spent enough time eating and getting sufficient rest to power him through the race! I got a feeling for what it means to be a cycling team manager – seeing the guys off each morning, then driving from waterpoint to waterpoint, making sure they got fresh batteries for their e-bikes when they needed it and had enough to eat, and taking photos for social media and the blog. What a wonderful, tiring and thrilling experience it was!

What’s Next for Billy?

Billy will keep cycling all the way to the National Transplant Games in Cape Town from 26-29 September 2024, and beyond. Along the way, we know for certain that he will continue to inspire all who meet and follow his journey, as he pursues his objective of spreading awareness of the critical need for organ donors in South Africa, just as he has inspired us. 

His story, as documented here and in the media in recent weeks, sheds light on the transformative power of organ and tissue donation. Billy’s journey from facing the impossible to achieving this historic feat, is an important reminder of the impact that one act of generosity can have on someone’s life.

If you’ve been moved by his story, how he rides to honour his donor and the work he does with Hero777 to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation, please consider registering as an organ and tissue donor. In doing so, your final act of generosity could leave a lasting legacy, giving others a second chance at life. I was so inspired by Billy that I’ve registered to be an organ donor, and so has Steph. We hope you will too!

To learn more about organ and tissue donation or to register as a donor, please visit the website www.odf.org.za or scan the QR Code below, and thank you for joining AllLife in supporting Billy in his historic sani2c journey!

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