IT would be difficult enough walking the almost 4000km from Fremantle to Australia's east coast, let alone doing it with two arthritic knees.
Even the idea of making that trip once would be daunting for many people, but not for Fremantle’s Mike Pauley.
When he was diagnosed with osteoarthritis a few years ago, Mr Pauley decided not to let the disease stop him from being mobile, so he decided to walk.
Seeing an opportunity, he decided to set himself a goal: to walk from the west coast to the east coast, all the while raising money for Arthritis and Osteoporosis Western Australia.
He has completed the cross-country trek not once, but twice, and had even embarked on a walk around Australia in March before the need for surgery cut him short.
He has raised thousands to date, but the 73-year-old has set himself the challenge of getting to $100,000. ‘I decided to walk across Australia to promote the benefits of how a combination of good food and exercise will improve not only arthritis but a multitude of diseases,’ he said.
‘I love the life on the road, the people, the country, the sunsets every night, the sunrise every morning, the stars, the birds and the wildlife around me.’
Mr Pauley has been recognised for his fundraising work, named one of three finalists in the JusGiving Asia Pacific 2014 Fundraiser of the Year award. ‘Being named a finalist is a great accomplishment, not only for myself but for the cause,’ he said.
Visit www.ozsoulwalk.com to donate.