500,000 Steps for Scleroderma walk kicks off in Port Macquarie, June 16

WALKING FOR LOVE: Tamara Kennedy, Trish Noack, Steve Noack and Andrew Kennedy ready to walk leaving Port Macquarie on June 16.
WALKING FOR LOVE: Tamara Kennedy, Trish Noack, Steve Noack and Andrew Kennedy ready to walk leaving Port Macquarie on June 16.

Walking nearly 500kms in two weeks sounds impossible, but for Tamara Kennedy that is exactly what she and her family are set to do when they leave Port Macquarie on June 16.

They will be raising money for scleroderma research.

The group will then walk nearly 40kms each day, with the first overnight stop will be in Laurieton, to arrive in Narellan on June 29.

The group will be raising money and awareness for scleroderma, a condition which causes hardening of the skin and affects internal organs, including the heart, liver and kidneys.

It is also a disease which Tamara’s mum, Trish, is dealing with.

“My mum is a champion, she never complains but we all know she is in excruciating pain,” Ms Kennedy said.

“It was almost two years ago that mum was diagnosed with scleroderma, and there is no cure which is something we want to help with.

“Scleroderma is classified as an autoimmune disease meaning a person’s immune system works against itself. 

Scleroderma is classified as an autoimmune disease meaning a person’s immune system works against itself.

Tamara Kennedy

“The normal immune system protects the body by fighting off foreign invaders such as viruses and infections but in an autoimmune disease, the immune system mistakes a person’s own tissues as foreign invaders and sets up a protective attack that backfires to cause problems.”

The group will be in Port Macquarie on June 15, with Finnians Irish Tavern hosting the group who will be out talking to locals about their walk and scleroderma.

“We are so thankful that Finnians is going to host us; hopefully we will raise some money and get the locals excited about what we are going to do,” she said.

“We admit it is a crazy walk, but the pain we will endure is nothing like what mum and others who have scleroderma go through each and everyday.”

She said that training has been a hard thing to do while juggling full time work.

“I think we have all been juggling work and our training commitments.

“But my Dad is a trooper, he measured out a 53 step route in his house and when the weather is bad – like it is at the moment – he will clock 12kms walking that 53 step route over and over.”

Tamara and her family will begin in Port Macquarie on June 16 and are expect to arrive in Narellan June 29; click here to follow their journey.

To see the group before they leave head to Finnians on June 15 for a great night or on Saturday morning they will be leaving Flagstaff Hill, Port Macquarie at 8am.

To donate to 500,000 steps for Scleroderma click here.

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