A trek to remember

The Merry Trekkers (clockwise from front, left) Ingrid Laudzevics,  Laura  Cantrell,  Kim  Belley-Babbage  and  Gwen Buch.
The Merry Trekkers (clockwise from front, left) Ingrid Laudzevics, Laura Cantrell, Kim Belley-Babbage and Gwen Buch.

Ms Laudzevics recently returned from a five-day, 40km trek across the Great Wall of China to raise funds for The Kids Cancer Project and to also get some perspective on life after her shock loss.

Karlee, a former student of John Curtin College of Arts, was a talented young singer, dancer and actress, but tragically died two months after she was diagnosed with a rare tumour known as a yolk sac tumour variant.

After she passed away, Ms Laudzevics established Karlee�s Army to help find a cure for cancer through fundraising, education and awareness.

As part of her fundraising efforts, she left for Beijing on June 13 to take part in Trek4aCure.

The journey involved five days of trekking through rural villages in the Hebei Province, exploring original sections of the Great Wall, and visiting Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City and the Summer Palace as well as meeting local villagers.

Ms Laudzevics linked up with three other women, Kim Belley-Babbage, Laura Cant-rell and Gwen Buch.

They dubbed themselves the Merry Trekkers.

�It was an incredible experience,� she said. �We each had our own personal journey and reasons why were there.

�We got on famously from the moment we met – it�s like Karlee knew these were the people I was meant to go with.�

The trek from Gubeikou to Jinshanling to Simatai involved climbing over rocks, balancing along narrow parts of the wall and walking up steep ascents in 35C heat.

But Ms Laudzevics said the

four women supported each

other through it all. �There were days when we were quiet and reflecting, but a lot of the time there was a lot of laughter � which was good.

On the fourth day of the trek, Ms Laudzevics scattered some of Karlee�s ashes at the summit of the Watching Beijing Tower on Mt Sinatai.

�It was the first time I�ve felt peace,� she said.

�One of the biggest compliments I heard afterwards was that our guide, who couldn�t speak English, said he wished he knew what us girls were talking about because we were laughing so much.�