Walking 230 km in one week might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for Maloney Field Services’ Jamahl Waddington it is an opportunity to raise funds to fight an extremely rare blood disease known as Diamond Blackfan Anemia (DBA).
Gabrielle, Jamahl’s 13-year-old daughter, has lived with DBA everyday of her life and despite her bravery, it has threatened her life on many occasions.
As a typical 13-year-old Gabrielle enjoys playing with her friends and family, but DBA is a cruel and horrifying disease with no cure and no person, let alone a child should have to live with it.
She has monthly blood transfusions to stay alive – hundreds over her lifetime so far – and has had more trips to Intensive Care Units in her thirteen years than most people have visited a hospital.
To put himself in his daughter’s shoes by living with discomfort and uncertainty for a week, Jamahl will walk 230 km from Coffs Harbour to Byron Bay from 17 April to 23 April 2016 to raise crucial funds for Captain Courageous, a charity that is raising funds to find a cure for not only DBA, but also other blood diseases and cancers such as leukaemia.
“Those that know Gabrielle will know her spirit is remarkable, her strength is ridiculous and her courage in the face of DBA is an inspiration to anyone who knows her story,” said Jamahl.
“Yet in the face of despair and sometimes hopelessness, a light at the end of an apparently endless tunnel has appeared, entirely due to the efforts of the Captain Courageous Foundation.
“With money raised to date by Captain Courageous, patient clinical trials of a new drug are a possibility this year.
“This drug could provide not only treatment for DBA but also for other blood diseases such as leukaemia.
“That said, these trials and other amazing work being done by researchers all around the world always need more funds to continue in the quest to find a cure.”
Embarking on the trek in a few weeks, Jamahl is determined to make sure funds are raised for the charity in order to find a cure to diseases such as DBA.
“Whilst it sounded like a good idea at the time, walking along beach sand, up and down cliffs and through national parks for 7-10 hours a day for 7 days on end will no doubt be extremely challenging,” said Jamahl.
“Nevertheless, we are determined to complete the walk in 7 days, determined to raise more than $20,000 for Captain Courageous and determined to play our part in finding a cure for DBA and other blood diseases.
“We hope you can support us in any way you can by making a donation to our walk.
“This is our ‘Gift for Gab’.”
To find out more about Gift for Gab click here.
To donate to Gift for Gab click here.