Two close friends will trek through rough terrain along the Barkly Highway to raise funds for palliative care following the loss of a loved one.
Walk, Ride, Run for Palliative Care founders Rowena Murphy and Liz Debney are encouraging locals to join them on a week long 147 kilometre adventure from Cloncurry to Mount Isa to raise funds for cuddle beds at Mount Isa Hospital, in memory of Mal Debney.
"Two and a half years ago, my husband Mal died of cancer," Liz Debney said. "Him, Rowena and I were walking buddies, we walked all the hills around Mount Isa and that was initially in preparation to do Larapinta at Alice Springs.
"However when Mal died Rowena had the idea to mark his first anniversary we were going to walk from Mount Isa to Cloncurry and the idea brewed from there. It didn't happen in 2019 for various reasons, but we planned it for 2020 but was shut down by COVID-19. So now we are doing it in July 2021."
After her own experience in palliative care at Mount Isa Hospital, Ms Debney wanted to raise money through the trek to purchase a cuddle bed.
"When Mal was in palliative care, I remember the doctor saying to me 'You're welcome to stay, but I'm sorry but there are no double beds," so I slept in the chair," she said.
"These cuddle beds cost $10,000 each, but it means that someone in palliative care can lay on a double bed and have family members stay, lay beside them or give them a cuddle more comfortably.
"It was something that I personally know Mount Isa Hospital needed. We spoke to the nurse in charge and she thought it was a great idea, so that has become our fundraising cause."
Ms Debney and Ms Murphy are encouraging others to get involved in the trek, if they walk, run or ride, complete the whole trip or just a section.
"It will take eight days to do the trip, leaving Cloncurry on July 3 and arriving in Mount Isa on the 10th," Ms Murphy said.
"On the trek sometimes we are walking along the fence line and other times we go bush through the hills and creeks. Our longest day is 22km and our shortest day is 13km, it is not a race, we are there to enjoy the scenery and it is do-able.
"For those who wish to join us, if you do the whole trek there is a minimum of $1000 to be fundraised and if you're joining us for one day a minimum of $300."
Ms Debney and Ms Murphy said they have begun a fitness regime to assist them on their adventure.
"I know personally that I need to be fitter then what I am. For my age I am probably a relatively fit person but to do this trek I have to be a lot more fit. So I am doing a lot of walking, bootcamps, cardio, playing golf twice a week; and I am doing it sensibly and gradually to prepare," Ms Debney said.
"This time last year I bought a really fancy exercise machine and I think i have used it twice," Ms Murphy said. "I would much rather walk a hill or ride my horse.
"Even though we didn't get to have the event last year, it was kind of good because we have been able to go out and walk part of the sections, to fine tune our route that can suit anyone who wishes to walk, run or ride."
For those who are interested in taking part in the trek can follow the Walk, Ride, Run for Palliative Care Facebook page or contact Rowena Murphy on 0407 030 006 or Liz Debney 0408 933 578.
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