BLISTERS are really starting to rip into Megan Bourke’s feet but she remains resolute to finish what she has started: a 100-kilometre “Walk Over Cancer for Grumpy”.
The idea started about a month ago when Ms Bourke noticed the Cancer Council Victoria challenge online. She has not had a chance to properly prepare but has been incredibly driven in her mission to honour her dad, fondly known to her children as Grumpy. He died two years ago with bowel cancer, which had spread through his body.
Ms Bourke set out on Tuesday, walking about 20 kilometres about her hometown Beaufort for stage one. She has one week to complete the challenge.
“I’m blocking out the pain,” Ms Bourke told The Courier while tackling her second leg, walking from Cardigan Village towards the Skipton Rail Trail.
“The pain is nothing compared to what people with cancer must go through.”
Community support has amazed Ms Bourke. Her initial goal to raise $500 had been met four-fold before the walk began, mostly people finding her journey on social media and word of mouth.
Ms Bourke and her family also baked cupcakes to sell at Beaufort’s high school, kindergarten, primary school and hospital. Her mum created bouquets of protea flowers to sell for the cause.
Walking has been tough.
Ms Bourke’s ambitious plans to walk 60 kilometres on Wednesday were cut short with blister pain. But she was proud to have her brother Mark with her every step that day, carrying her backpack.
“It’s pretty special. He’s doing it to support me, but also for dad,” Ms Bourke said. “Dad meant so much to us.”
Ms Bourke said statistics were heartbreaking with more than 30 Victorians losing their lives to cancer each day, 87 Victorians diagnosed each day and the 260,000 Victorians living with cancer.
Walk Over Cancer Challenge raised money for cancer research, prevention and support.
The walk has raised almost $2500 and Ms Bourke efforts were ranked third for individuals in the challenge.
To follow her journey, visit Walk Over Cancer for Grumpy page on Facebook.