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River Yakman Challenge for Childhood Cancer

On the 2nd of March 2013, I will be starting my journey.  This journey will take me from the back of Bourke to the Murray mouth by kayak. The main mission of this challenge is to raise much needed funds for the Childhood Cancer Association, a charity that has helped my niece’s family through their daughters fight for life battling Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. Throughout this challenge I will endeavour to keep all supporters up to date with photos, distance travelled and the number of fish caught, this will be minimised by phone and internet reception.                                                                                 

My Inspiration

Just over 18 months ago it was found that I had 4 aneurisms on the brain. It was a life changing moment for me, knowing that at any moment one could burst (around the 70% mark are fatal). Luckily I experienced some weird symptoms (the doctors say there are no symptoms for this condition),which led to a CT scan,  in turn finding a 8mm aneurism. They told me not to stress out about it. I was pretty worried about this situation. I was swiftly flown to Adelaide for more scans, which showed I not only had 1 aneurism, I had 4 of the little buggers. To this news I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. I was extremely stressed about having 1 so what else is there to do. In May 2011 I had my 1st craniotomy, which went very well. This operation sorted out 2 of my little unwanted friends. The second operation was in September, this didn’t go so well. During the opp I suffered a intra-cranial bleed (stroke), which the doctors quickly got under control by slowing my heartbeat and finding the bleed. There was a longer recovery after this operation, but I came through it alive and without any negative effects.(in my opinion anyway) Before these operations I had to have something to look forward to in my life and this is when I first came up with the idea of kayaking the Darling River, a river which I have great respect for and love dearly.

Whilst this was happening to me, my niece’s daughter, who had been struggling with cancer for nearly 3 years, went into remission. This was without a doubt the best news in my whole life; everything was good in the world again. Within a month of my all clear, this young 7 year old sadly relapsed.

It was on a visit to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide (I visited as often as possible)I asked my niece to pick her favourite charity who I could raise funds for, she quickly replied the Childhood Cancer Association. I was in their office the next day offering to support their charity.

In my research, it was brought to my attention that the CCA covers quite a large area, including far Western NSW, Regional VIC, all of NT and obviously SA.
This changed my plans a little. I wanted to cover the area that this righteous charity covers, so I included an 880km stretch of the river Murray.



All funds raised go the
Childhood Cancer Association


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