It’s not so much about the distance covered, but the reason behind it.
Families facing cancer are isolated now more than ever, with compromised immune systems meaning every germ is a serious threat, not just COVID-19.
When Australia’s isolation finally ends, stress and anxiety will still be a constant presence for Camp Quality families.
In a bid to help, the national charity has launched an inaugural COVID-safe challenge, which is raising much-needed funds for children facing cancer.
The Big Walk for Little Kids asks everyday Australians to lace up their joggers and cover a total of 25, 50 or 100 kilometres this month.
Newcastle’s Maddy Bartlett says she decided to sign up after discovering the pandemic’s impact on Camp Quality’s fundraising efforts.
“I’ve been a volunteer with Camp Quality for three years and I know how hard it is to get fundraising at the moment with COVID and everything,” she says.
“So, doing the walk is just that little bit of extra help.”
Maddy, who has set a minimum fundraising target of $500, plans to walk at least 100 kilometres before the end of October.
She says the event will aid Camp Quality’s services and programs for children aged 0 to 13, who are either dealing with their own diagnosis or supporting a brother, sister, mum, or dad.
“I worked in camps when I was overseas and then remembered how much I loved going to them as a kid and wanted to get back into that kind of work,” Maddy says.
“I saw Camp Quality and know how awesome it is to get the kids out and give them a break from what they are doing – to let them be kids again.”
Camp Quality Chief Executive Deborah Thomas adds COVID-19 has been particularly difficult for kids and families facing cancer.
“Big Walk for Little Kids has been created in line with the ever-evolving and varied restrictions in each state,” she says.
“Australians anywhere can get involved and walk throughout the month of October in many different ways – on the treadmill, outdoors, as an individual, with a friend, or as part of a virtual team.”
Visit Camp Quality’s Big Walk for Little Kids website for more information or go to Maddy Bartlett’s page if you’d like to donate to her.