People do not normally take part in 35-kilometre long walks but in October Alison Ward and her team of Charlie’s Angels completed the Bloody Long Walk from Carrick Hill to Glenelg with pride, raising money for mitochondrial disease.
Charlie’s Angels was made up of 14 friends and family who helped raise more than $20,000 for the cause.
Mrs Ward’s son Charlie was diagnosed with mitochondrial disease when he was 6-years-old, after undergoing gene testing and a muscle biopsy.
Prior to the diagnosis, it was thought Charlie had some type of developmental delay and cerebral palsy.
“Charlie’s mito disease affects his energy levels and his whole body, he can’t walk, he can’t do anything for himself, and he has limited speech,” Mrs Ward said.
“His type of mito disease also affects his heart, which means that he needs to have his heart scanned every year.”
There is no cure for mitochondrial disease and Charlie has to take a tablet every day as a treatment.
He also has two carers who look after him at school as well as a local Cummins family who are respite carers.
The Bloody Long Walk raises funds to find a cure for mitochondrial disease, with each team and individual getting an Everyday Hero fundraising account at registration.
The Charlie’s Angel team raised funds themselves, with one member doing setting up a stall to raise extra funds.
“One of my friends from Cummins set up a stall at the Yallunda Flat Show and was selling food to raise money, which went really well,” Mrs Ward said.
In total, the team raised $20,220 for the cause, with the second highest team, raising $8520.
The 14 team members completed the walk from Carrick Hill through the botanic gardens and along the River Torrens to Henley Beach and Glenelg, with Charlie’s sister Asha joining the team for the last 10 kilometres, while Charlie greeted the team at the finish line.
The Bloody Long Walk is held in seven locations across the country each year, including Perth, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane, with two walks held in Sydney.
Entries are not yet open for next year’s walk but the mailing list is open for notifications at bloodylongwalk.com.au.
Pictured above are: back: Brett Siegert, Vicki Siegert, Midge Guidera, Meredith Treloar, Meisha Quinn, Ron Bland, Asha Ward, Ali Ward, Sharon Markwick, Stacey Heath, Cathryn Northcott, Cathy Ford; front: Ellie Siegert, Charlie Ward, Nadine Pearce and Chelsea Zwar.