Despite being diagnosed with a debilitating and fatal lung condition, 63 year old Bill van Nierop set out to defy all odds and embarked on the Long Walk for Lungs – a 15 day 697km journey across New South Wales, supported by his employer AgnVet Services. Bill raised awareness and $100,000 for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) research and support. This is an enormous feat for anyone let alone someone with IPF, a progressive and incurable lung disease that causes scarring of the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. In the two and a half years that Bill has been living with IPF, he has become acutely aware that alongside the stigma attached to lung disease, there is currently very little awareness or research and information available.
Bill said, “It was a mental battle and the couple of days I had walking into 45 kilometre per hour headwinds, were challenging.” Bill’s pain and suffering diminished when he crossed the finish line in Forbes, surrounded by family, friends and colleagues with his grandchildren flying a “You did it Poppy Bill” banner. Congratulations Bill on this fantastic achievement.
Money raised will go towards IPF research as well as the IPF Peer Connect service which connects people living with IPF with others in a similar situation.