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Big Three Trek organisers ‘tickled pink’ by Novocastrian support


A group of selfless Novocastrians is “tickled pink” by the extraordinary support of the local community as it undertakes its latest odyssey.

The Big Three Trek – the brainchild of founder Luke Alexander and his mates Ethan Coker and Nathan Hill – hit the ground “walking” at the weekend for another good cause.

The hardy bunch left Newcastle on Sunday 1 January, bound for the Sydney Cricket Ground, or SCG as it’s commonly known, to raise awareness and funds for the McGrath Foundation.

And, when the battle-weary warriors – who’ll face 30+ degree temperatures – reach their destination after 150 kilometres on the road, on Wednesday 4 January, it’ll coincide with the start of the much-loved Pink Test, in which Australia hopes to dominate the touring South Africans again.

“We have the honour of walking for two incredible charities every six months,” Alexander said.

“In winter, we don the joggers for the Mark Hughes Foundation (MHF), paying tribute to those who have been affected by brain cancer.

“Then, in summer, we walk for the McGrath Foundation, honouring those who have been touched by breast cancer.

“In 2022, our second trek, we managed to amass more than $130,000.

“So far, we’re on track to better that figure, thanks to many generous people.

“All funds raised will go towards McGrath Breast Care Nurses, so that no one goes through breast cancer without care.

“While we can only take our core group of 30 for the whole walk, we invite anyone and everyone to join us for the last kilometre to the Pink Village.

“There, we’ll be met by Glenn McGrath and Tracy Bevan.”

The Big Three Trek will also welcome a number of celebrities, from the sporting world to high-profile entertainers, along the journey.

Alexander admitted The McGrath Foundation was “really special”.

“The McGrath Breast Care nurses are like angels, they are there every step of the way for their patients and often become like family to those they care for,” he said.

“After we finished the first trek for Brain Cancer, we were shocked by how many people who started to reach out who had been affected by breast cancer, directly and indirectly.

“We then made the decision to call the founder, Tracy Bevan.

“Following a quick chat, we opted to do our part in supporting such an amazing charity. 

“We walked 150km in gruelling hot summer conditions and reached the SCG in time for day one of the iconic Pink Test.

“We had trekkers who were really close to this cause… one lost his wife to breast cancer just months before the trek and others had lost loved ones over the years.”

Alexander said the MHF was another important organisation.

“They’re doing amazing things,” he added.

“During the 2021 Beanies for Brain Cancer Round, the foundation managed to raise an incredible $4.1 million.

“So, it was an absolute privilege for The Big Three Trek to play a small part in that total by accumulating $106,000 with our trek from Sydney to Newcastle.

“The mission of the MHF, formed by former Knight Mark Hughes and his wife Kirralee after his diagnosis in 2013, is to raise much-needed funds for research, to create awareness and support brain cancer patients and their families. 

“When we first came up with The Big Three Trek concept, we knew straight away we wanted to support the foundation.

“The three of us are from Newcastle and we have seen over the years the brilliant work Mark, Kirralee and the team do.

“Unfortunately, we also know several people who have lost their battle with brain cancer – and that was all the motivation we needed.”

To make a donation, visit https://fundraise.mcgrathfoundation.com.au/event/big-three-trek/home

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