Moving mountains for Mila


Kyle Nolan, Craig Stappenbelt, Zak Jovanov, Stuart Pestana and Martin Quinlan are trekking to the Mount Everest base camp to raise money for cancer patients.
Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au   d449849
Kyle Nolan, Craig Stappenbelt, Zak Jovanov, Stuart Pestana and Martin Quinlan are trekking to the Mount Everest base camp to raise money for cancer patients. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d449849

Mila (8) was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was 2½ and underwent more than six months of chemotherapy.

Mr Jovanov, of Hamersley, said Mila was given the “worst” prognosis but by a “miracle”, is now happy, healthy and only requires testing once a year.

“Doctors can’t believe it,” he said.

While supporting Mila in hospital, he met Rick Parish, who established Telethon Adventurers to raise money for childhood cancer research. He joined the group in climbing Mont Blanc in 2010, raising $10,000 for the cause.

Since then, he has helped to raise $70,000 by holding events through his business Premier Martial Arts and Fitness Academy and has recruited two instructors and two parents to join him in a 15-day trek to the Mount Everest base camp in April.

“I’m feeling great about the guys who are doing it,” he said. “You have to snap out of things, stand up and do it. We want to lead by example.”

The quintet is training five days a week for the challenge and Mr Jovanov said he was expecting the climb to be tough.

“Everyone I tell says, ‘You’re crazy’,” he said. “I like the scary feeling, it challenges me; I thrive on that.”

Along with raising $20,000, he wants to increase awareness of childhood cancer. “I want to get more people tuned in,” he said.

“Unless it affects them personally it’s hard to get people to donate.

“We should be able to stop kids getting brain tumours; there should be a quicker answer to it.”

Visit premieracademy.com.au or donate at tinyurl.com/z8awdkg.