By Tania Forlano
I’ve supported Endometriosis Australia for a long time. As someone who was very familiar with effects of endometriosis has had on the health of family members, friends and co-workers, I was aware of all the great work Endometriosis Australia has done over the years raising awareness and funding for research into the disease.
So, when I heard about the fundraising Trek for Endo was going to be with the glorious Southwest region of my home state, I thought I could do more than just make my yearly tax-deductible donation.
Now, I enjoy the outdoors as much as the next Gen-X suburbanite office drone with chronic hay-fever can, but now in my early 50s, I thought the opportunity of hiking the entire track appeared to be past me. Enter Trek for Endo. Only three days you say? And meals, accommodation and transportation will be included? Lead by experienced guides through the Southwest during springtime? And all I have to do is raise $2500 in donations? *GULP*
Turns out all those coworkers, family and friends with endo I reached out to were happy to hit my fundraising page to get my total ticking over as well as reposting my social media. I sweetened the deal by running a raffle for a footie jersey during the AFL finals weeks. In the end, I wasn’t the biggest fund raiser but during zoom calls with the others prior to the trek, we shared many fundraising ideas which we even employed right through to the last day of the hike!
As a Western Australian, I was very familiar with the Cape to Cape and it was something that friends and acquaintances who had hiked it were duly praised for tackling. My only regret was ignoring the advice to train on soft sand and stairs sooner! As one of the oldest in the cohort, my chief concern was not completing the trek, given my less than perfect preparation.
I needn’t have worried. It might only have been three days, but it wasn’t exactly a breeze. That was down to the women in the group were so supportive, particularly when some of us (yours truly) would fall behind. We were encouraged to go at our own pace which meant we got to take time to really experience the spectacular scenery, breathe in the ocean air and take many, many photos. Occasionally we would cross paths (or in my case, be passed) by other hikers who asked who this group of women of varying ages were and why were we wearing yellow jerseys. We took this opportunity to explain we were raising funds for Endo Australia, told them all about the disease, flashed them our QR codes, and thanked them for their donation!
Every day was an opportunity to share everyone’s endo journeys. There were many common experiences, but we all learned a lot as we shared tips and strategies. Turns out the Pouch of Douglas isn’t a euphemism for where a Scot keeps his keys.
At the end of the second day as we were getting ready for dinner, we got a message to meet the rest of the team at the bar around the corner from our accommodation. Huzzah!! We had hit our fundraising target with a day to spare! Cocktails and pizza never tasted so good.
As the sun set over Margaret River that night, the pressure was off for the final day. It was much easier to focus on getting on with the hike with the end in sight knowing we had achieved our goals.
Please support this year’s trekkers, they are taking time off work, and challenging themselves, to raise funds for Endometriosis Australia to support the 1 in 7 Australian women, girls and those AFAB diagnosed with this life-defining disease by their 50th birthday.
To find out more about the 2024 Trek for Endo at the Bay of Fires, click here.