December 28, 2012

2012 July 11 – Tuffy’s Trek proves tough for true friends

Brisbane resident, Shane Talbot goes a long way for friends.  His best friend, Peter ‘Tuffy’ Tuffield, has never smoked a day in his life yet was diagnosed with lung cancer a year ago so Shane has set off today to trek the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea to raise money and awareness for The Australian Lung Foundation.

Shane hopes to raise $60,000 to give The Australian Lung Foundation to fund research and ultimately find an effective early detection screening method for lung cancer. Since launching Tuffy’s “Show Us Your Lungs” Kokoda Challenge campaign back in March, Shane has managed to raise over $16,000. Shane is funding his trek himself so all funds raised will be donated to The Australian Lung Foundation.

Shane has set himself the Kokoda challenge – his goal is to trek over and back (Owens Corner to Kokoda and back to Owens Corner) in six days. This equals 182 Kokoda kilometres which is an incredible hike and tough on the lungs although Shane insists, “it’s nothing when compared to 18 weeks of Chemo and all which comes with it.”

The Kokoda Trail is very fitting as there is a memorial on top of the Kokoda Trail where four stone pillars display the words “Courage, Mateship, Endurance and Sacrifice” – words that symbolize the bond between Tuffy and Shane.

Some may call Shane crazy but his motivation behind deciding to do this challenging trek is very heartfelt. His mum passed away from lung cancer in 2005 and now his best mate, Tuffy, is battling lung cancer as well.

Tuffy has been a much loved regional bank manager in Bundaberg for 40 years. When Tuffy retired, his lifelong dream was to travel around Australia with his wife in a Winnebago. Tuffy had even purchased the Winnebago and was ready to retire. He developed a persistent cough which got progressively worse and after a lot of doctors’ appointments and being misdiagnosed for over six months, Tuffy was finally diagnosed with Lung Cancer just over a year ago now.

Shane felt helpless when he found out about his mate Tuffy’s diagnosis because Tuffy had never smoked a day in his life.  Once Shane had done some further research, he discovered some shocking facts and decided that he had to do something to help. Shane found out that 22% of people diagnosed with lung cancer will have either never smoked or given up decades ago. “Lung cancer kills more people than breast, ovarian and prostate cancers combined yet is the least funded of all cancers,” said Shane.

The Australian Lung Foundation will support Shane on his journey and are extremely grateful he has decided to do this to raise funds in the hope of finding an effective early detection screening method for lung cancer.

“We are extremely grateful Shane has decided to do this and we wish him all the best on his incredible journey ahead,” CEO of The Australian Lung Foundation, William Darbishire said.

“Over 20 Australians die from lung cancer each day. The funds raised from Tuffy’s Trek will help us continue our fight against lung disease and to spread the word about the importance of lung health,” said Mr Darbishire.

Read Tuffy’s story here – http://tuffyskokodachallenge.com/

Please donate here – http://www.everydayhero.com.au/shane_talbot

ENDS

For media enquiries, please contact Bridget Dixon from The Australian Lung Foundation onbridget@lungfoundation.com.au  (07) 3251 3644.