ORGANISERS behind this year’s Great Strides Walkathon are looking to raise awareness of cystic fibrosis one step at a time.
The event, now in its fourth year in Bendigo, raises vital funds to help Victorian families manage the genetic disorder.
But all this would not be possible without ongoing support from the local community, according to walkathon co-ordinator Kristy Hunt.
Despite working as a nurse, Ms Hunt said she had no idea what to expect when her son, Lincoln, was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis at birth.
With Lincoln’s diagnosis, Ms Hunt and her partner, Tim Cain, also learned they were both carriers of the gene mutation and that their children would have a one-in-four chance of being affected.
“My partner and I had no idea what it was until then. We had to learn the hard way,” she said.
Ms Hunt said Lincoln, 3, must be attached to a nebuliser at night and will require regular chest physiotherapy to support his lungs, which are often worst-affected by the disease in addition to the pancreas, liver and intestine.
“It’s a daily thing that he will have to deal with for the rest of his life,” she said.
Ms Hunt said taking part in the walkathon fundraiser was her way of giving back to the community that had supported her.
Participants can choose to complete either a 3km or 6km event around Lake Weeroona on Sunday, October 21.
They can go solo or compete as a team, and prizes are available for the most funds raised as well as for the winners of each circuit.
To register, visit www.cfv.org.au or call 9686 1811.
Teams can raise money via Everyday Hero at ww.everydayhero.com.au/event/GreatStridesVIC2012