Courteney’s sweet­est dreams be­come re­al­ity

In­gre­di­ents from Charly’s Bak­ery light up the life of ill Dur­ban girl

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - VIVIEN HOR­LER

OURTENEY Rae­burn, 9, is a lit­tle girl who knows that dreams can come true. A year ago she was di­ag­nosed with lu­pus, an au­toim­mune dis­ease in which the im­mune sys­tem at­tacks the body. She has had chemo­ther­apy re­cently.

When Courteney was very ill, she would lie on her couch at home in Dur­ban and watch Charly’s Cake An­gels, a do­cure­al­ity TV se­ries that tells the be­hind-the-scenes sto­ries of the Dis­trict Six bak­ery.

So when the Reach for a Dream Foun­da­tion vis­ited Courteney and asked her what she’d re­ally, re­ally like to do, she didn’t hes­i­tate: She wanted to visit Charly’s Bak­ery.

A cou­ple of weeks ago Courteney, mom Ta­nia and dad Neil flew from Dur­ban to Cape Town, where they were met by Reach for a Dream vol­un­teer Mar­garet Green and whisked straight off to Charly’s Bak­ery.

And there the fam­ily were blown away.

Later Neil wrote: “How do they make a cake at Charly’s Bak­ery?

“I don’t know, I am not a baker. What I do know is that it has a spe­cial in­gre­di­ent in it. An in­gre­di­ent that is in abun­dance, that is un­con­di­tional and unique to each prod­uct.

“This in­gre­di­ent tran­scends the senses. You can smell it in the air when you stand in the shop, you can feel it in the way

Cthe staff op­er­ate, you can hear it in the laugh­ter of the staff, you can taste it in the end prod­uct and you can see it ev­ery­where you look.

“You see, it’s not a mys­tery in­gre­di­ent.

“It is as old as time, it is as pow­er­ful as a rocket, it is as soft as a but­ter­fly land­ing on a flower. It is not kept in a box, it is not stored in the fridge. It is there al­ways and it is given freely. The in­gre­di­ent is love, and you get it by de­fault at Charly’s Bak­ery.”

Courteney was wel­comed by Roch Schol­lij and Alex Biess, she had a crash course in pip­ing ic­ing and was given a cookie to dec­o­rate.

Neil said: “Courteney was made to feel like a queen, and she will never for­get their kind­ness. Her glow­ing face tells how much she en­joyed her­self.”

The Rae­burns had a whirl­wind week­end vis­it­ing Cape Town’s sights: They went to the World of Birds in Hout Bay where a mon­key sat on Courteney’s lap; had fish and chips on the rocks; a boat trip to Seal Is­land off the Sentinel; a trip up Ta­ble Moun­tain to see the dassies; to the Water­front; and to the pen­guins at Boul­ders Beach.

Neil said: “The mon­key had Courteney buzzing with ex­cite­ment, the dassie was the high­light of the moun­tain – she got a soft toy dassie which she im­me­di­ately named An­gel after Charly’s Cake An­gels, and was so ex­cited she had seen seals, dassies and pen­guins in their nat­u­ral habi­tat.

“But there is no ques­tion that the high­light of the whole week­end was the time she spent at Charly’s Bak­ery. Thank you, Charly’s, for ev­ery­thing you did to make our only daugh­ter’s dream come true.”

Roch Schol­lij of Charly’s told the Cape Ar­gus they never al­lowed chil­dren be­hind the counter, but made an ex­cep­tion in the case of the Reach for a Dream Foun­da­tion kids.

“It’s an hon­our and a priv­i­lege to have them come here – they are lit­tle fight­ers. Courteney was so sweet and it was so much fun to have her spend time with us.

“Later her fa­ther wrote to us about our magic in­gre­di­ent of love, and we were in tears.

“Know­ing we can make some­one like Courteney happy is just the best feel­ing in the world.“

PIC­TURES: NEIL RAE­BURN

IC­ING ON TOP: Jen­nifer Gold­stein shows Courteney Rae­burn how to ice a pink cake.

TOUCH OF MAGIC: Courteney ad­mires Roch Schol­lij’s tech­nique.

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