The Mark Hughes Foundation's "Top End Challenge Team" are well on their way to reaching their goal of raising $450k to continue funding brain cancer care nurses.
Having already conquered the dizzying heights of the Mount Everest Base Camp, Mount Kilimanjaro and The Sandakan Death March in Borneo and Kokoda Track, the Mark Hughes Foundation are setting off on their next gruelling challenge - the Top End of Australia.
31 trekkers will test their body, mind and spirit as they ride 400 kilometres, hike over 35kms and paddle more than 16kms through the vastness and beauty of Kakadu, Katherine Gorge, Jatbula and Litchfield National Parks.
This group will be tested to the limit, mentally and physically in extreme heat, but nothing like what brain cancer patients and their families go through.
Funds raised on the Top End Trek will go to the crucial funding for the Brain Cancer Care Coordinators in the Hunter New England and Mid North Coast regions. MHF currently funds 4 brain cancer co-ordinators with the ongoing cost to continue to fund these positions in excess of 1 million dollars over three years. Two of these positions are up for renewal and the cost of this to MHF is $450, 000.
Among this years trekkers are ex-Knights players Mark Hughes and Brad Godden, who have completed all four treks to date, along with Paul “The Chief” Harragon and Bill Peden, who initally came up with the idea five years ago after a Christmas Day conversation.
MHF Founder and trekker Mark Hughes, said: “The MHF treks have been going for four years and in that time the various groups of trekkers have already raised an incredible $1.6 million.”
“Obviously COVID forced us to think more locally and we have decided to take on the harshness of the Northern Territory for our next adventure.”
“The best thing about every trek is what we not only learn about ourselves by pushing our bodies and minds to the limit, but what we learn about the journeys of others in the group, it brings people together which is the true essence of MHF.”
“In the regional areas, once brain cancer patients get home they often struggle, along with their families, without the expert assistance of a brain cancer care nurse that city patients are lucky enough to have. We are extremely proud of these positions and know our nurses are seen as a source of strength and hope to those going through the toughest of times.”
MHF Ambassador and trekker Paul Harragon said “It’s exciting, we are on the cusp of a very tough challenge, and I know that we are ready to give our best and carry the spirit of all those who have fought brain cancer.”
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