Lung Foundation Australia’s annual Challenge 30 raised more than $50,000 to support and improve health outcomes for the seven million Australians living with lung disease and lung cancer.
To celebrate the foundation’s 30th anniversary, participants took on a personal challenge themed around 3, 30 or 300.
Putting his best foot forward, literally, was Bruce who, aged 78, took on a 300km walk over nine days to raise awareness.
Inspired by the memory of his son and driven further by his passion to raise much-needed funds for those living with a lung condition, the former Mundubbera Mayor averaged almost 40km a day on the roads of Queensland’s North Burnett region. He finished with a “leisurely 10km stroll” back into his hometown on day nine, joined by a number of the town’s residents.
“300 sounded like a good number at the time,” Bruce said. “It wasn’t easy but worked out all right. It was mostly a wonderful walk, the countryside looked so good due to recent rain.”
Bruce’s son David was former Lung Foundation Australia Chair and a highly respected respiratory disease specialist until his death in May 2015. Bruce said there was not enough awareness of Lung Foundation Australia and its work; and through his fundraising efforts and profile, he wanted to help change that.
“Anyone can get lung disease, one in three Australians will experience it in their lifetime. And over the past year, Australians have seen the toll that respiratory disorders can have on a healthy person, let alone someone living with a lung disease.”
During his great adventure, Bruce was on the road by 5.15am each morning, basing himself at home in Mundubbera each night. His good mate Rob, in a support vehicle, held out a bucket for passing motorists, raising over $800 out of a staggering total of over $10,000, smashing Bruce’s original target of $3000.
“Some people even turned around and came back … another lady we saw three times, she returned after the first time the next day with a big bag of limes for us.”
“Hopefully all funds raised can help to create better outcomes overall for those with lung disease. Anything that can go towards support and research is great.”
Lung Foundation Australia Donor Relationship Manager, Caitlin, said fundraisers like Bruce made a huge impact.
“Bruce has done an amazing job, not only raising much-needed funds but also raising awareness about lung disease in his community and beyond,” she said.
“You don’t have to raise thousands to make a real difference. Every fundraiser and every dollar raised is helping to change lives every day.”
Funds raised by the Lung Foundation Australia community support vital support services, educational resources for health professionals, advocacy efforts and ground-breaking research.
To take on your own challenge or find out more, email firstname.lastname@example.org or free call 1800 654 301.
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