Sunshine Walk goes virtual

Shake off the winter lockdown blues and take part in the Virtual Sunshine Walk on Sunday, November 7.

To ensure vital funds can still be raised for cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre Trust Fund has announced its major fundraising event featuring 5km, 10km and 20km walks will be held online again this year.

After the opening ceremony is streamed live from Albury’s Noreuil Park, participants will be challenged to walk their selected distance anywhere in their community, and share their photos and experiences online.

Trust Fund board member, John Watson said the virtual event last year was a huge success with 50 teams and more than 600 participants helping to paint the region bright yellow.

“For a lot of people, the virtual format actually suited them better because they could still get together with a group of their family and friends, and walk in their own communities,” he said.

“We had groups walk in Bright, Culcairn, Howlong and Corowa, and as far away as Cairns, the Gold Coast and even America.

“No matter where you looked, you could see our yellow Sunshine Walk shirts, and there was still a great atmosphere and amazing sense of community spirit.”

Mr Watson said a virtual event would allow the Sunshine Walk community to stay connected and achieve something positive together in uncertain times.

“The health and safety of our participants, spectators and volunteers remains our number one priority, with cancer patients being among the most vulnerable to COVID-19,” she said.

“A virtual event will allow everyone to participate in their own socially-distanced walk, and to connect with other participants via our social media and website platforms.”

Walking 10km as part of Team Bliss will be Albury mum, Kellie McDonald, who lost her mum, Sue Pickles, to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1998, aged 45 years.

She said having the Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre here when her mum was going through treatment would have made a “huge difference”.

“The only thing mum could have done here was chemotherapy, but radiation and everything else had to be done in Melbourne,” Mrs McDonald said.

“Dad actually had to move into temporary accommodation in Melbourne so they could be close to the care and facilities that mum needed.”

By taking part in the virtual walk, Mrs McDonald hopes to raise awareness of the cancer centre and the “amazing” work of the Trust Fund to improve access to cancer treatment in the region.

“It’s also a great opportunity to do something to recognise the courage and strength of cancer patients, and everything that they go through,” she said.

The walk is being held as part of Sunshine Week, from November 1 to November 7, which encourages schools, businesses, sporting clubs and community groups to host a fundraising event in support of the cancer centre.

For further information or to register for the walk, click here