Courteney’s sweetest dreams become reality
Ingredients from Charly’s Bakery light up the life of ill Durban girl
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.“
ICING ON TOP: Jennifer Goldstein shows Courteney Raeburn how to ice a pink cake.
TOUCH OF MAGIC: Courteney admires Roch Schollij’s technique.