SOS ALBURY TO MELBOURNE WALK UNDERWAY
- PAYCE Headquarters, Sydney NSW.
Brian Boyd and PAYCE Lend Support in 2016
PAYCE and Brian Boyd continue to support the SOS Walk to find a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most common form of muscular dystrophy in children, almost exclusively in younger boys.
The streets of Albury on Victoria's border are generally deserted at 5.00am on any given day, but last Friday Olive Street was a hub of activity as a team of volunteers made their preparation for the official start of the 2016 Save Our Sons charity marathon walk. Save our Sons are working to raise funds and awareness for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most common form of muscular dystrophy in children.
The disease causes destructive muscle degeneration almost exclusively in younger boys, leading to an inability to walk. At present, the disease has a 100% fatality rate.
Brian Boyd and all at PAYCE send Best Wishes to Michael Malak and the Team
Within several hours, the group of walkers, their support team and operations crew would head out on an arduous 350 km journey to Melbourne, covering the vast walking distance over the coming 13 days.
The team began with a series of warm-up exercises before they were motioned off at 9.00am by a swelling group of well-wishers and Save Our Sons ambassadors, rock singer, Angry Anderson, former NRL referee, Bill Harrigan and author, Prue McSween.
The group is being led by the founder of the charity, Elie Eid, who is pushing his son, Emilio, a DMD sufferer, in a wheelchair for the duration of the trek to Melbourne, where they will arrive in Federation Square some time on Wednesday, 27 April.
PAYCE project manager, Michael Malak, who participated in last year's Sydney to Canberra walk, has joined the fundraiser again this year.
Michael said he was proud to be part of the 2016 walk and to be representing PAYCE, who has brought its corporate support to the charity fundraiser with a $20,000 donation.
Brian Boyd and PAYCE Welcome the Opportunity to Support Save Our Sons
PAYCE Managing Director, Brian Boyd said it was important to raise awareness for the debilitating disease and PAYCE welcomed the opportunity to support the Save Our Sons' initiative.
'Hopefully, by raising awareness, there will be increased funds available for researching a cure so that children with this terrible disease can have a better and longer life," Mr. Brian Boyd said.
"We will be thinking of Michael and the team on their travels and wish them a safe and successful journey," Brian Boyd continued.
Community Support is Fantastic - Brian Boyd
The team has been walking now for six very momentous days and have been deeply moved time and again by the community support shown along the walking route to Melbourne.
The team complete the 21 kilometre walk to Rutherglen on Day one with slathers of encouragement and timely donations from locals and passers-by.
Day Two Brings Some Tough Challenges....and Much Joy.
Day two was harder on the team, with many sections of the journey on the gravel verge rather than the hard bitumen surface.
"The rough surface punctured a tyre on Eimilio's wheelchair, but fortunately we quickly had the problem sorted, with Cycle Station in Albury getting us mobile again free of charge," Michael said.
"We have been blown away with the generosity of people and their interest in learning more about the disease and generally giving us a lift with their encouragement.
"On Monday for example, we were stopped on Federation Way by the grandparents of a little boy who also suffers from DMD. They were on their way to Melbourne and were looking out for us as they wanted to say hello and pass on their best wishes for the journey."
The 150 KM Milestone Brings Good Spirits to the Team
Michael said the team was pleased to be past the 150 kilometre marker of the journey with all participants travelling in good spirits.
"The weather has been very hot and dry and there are certainly some blisters among us, but you don't hear any complaints. We are now into a routine and feeling no pain.
"We were pleased to have the opportunity to share Elie's birthday with him. He is a wonderful inspiration to us all and we marvel at the effort he puts into making sure more people know about DMD.
"We are now at the end of day six and in Benalla. Yesterday's walk had a special end to it. As we entered Violet Town, we were met by the students and teachers from the Peranbin Primary College.
"They clapped us in and presented Emilio with a cheque for $150 and one of the girls even gave him her pocket money for the week. What a welcome!"
Save Our Sons has joined a global alliance, called the Duchenne Alliance, to take the fight against DMD worldwide.
Scientific trial funding is coordinated and allocated by Save the Sons, based on the advice of a team of expert scientific advisors around the world to ensure which trials will produce the maximum benefit for boys afflicted with the disease.
To donate to Save Our Sons go to: www.saveoursons.org.au/donate-now
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