JOONDALUP resident Natalie Ivankovich will join more than 1000 people in The Bloody Long Walk fundraiser this weekend.
The September 25 event aims to raise money for the Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (AMDF), with participants walking 35km from South Perth’s Sir James Mitchell Park to Cottesloe Beach.
Miss Ivankovich said she started looking for different charities to support after her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer and a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer.
The AMDF was one she found that did not appear to receive must government funding for its research into cures for the potentially fatal genetic disorder.
“I had never heard of mito before,” she said, adding her team WOW Fitness Perth had a fundraising goal of $400.
To prepare, Miss Ivankovich has been doing boot camp sessions in Iluka three times a week and walking her dog about 5km every day.
“I’m just hoping it’s not going to be too hot,” she said.
According to AMDF, the ability to walk, run or even stand up unaided can be a daily struggle for people with mitochondrial disease.
Chief executive Sean Murray said that while many ‘Bloody Long Walkers’ had a family member or friend affected by mito, most participants were people keen for an active outdoor challenge that also helped a good cause.
“The profits from registrations and all donations will help the AMDF support people affected by mito, fund vital research, education and advocacy initiatives,” he said.
Visit bloodylongwalk.com.au to donate or register.