Walking 80kms along the rough terrain of the Larapinta Trail in Central Australia might not be everyone’s idea of an Easter getaway, but for Amy Wieck, it was in honour of her brother Jacob who passed away from cancer six years ago.
Jacob dies at the age of 20 from Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of cancerous tumour that is found in bones and soft tissue, and usually affects young people.
The loss of her brother and her love for adventure inspired Amy to join Sony Foundation’s walk for youth cancer.
“Ever since I have heard about and researched the Larapinta Trail, I have always had an interest in hiking it one day,” she said.
“However, I knew that when I eventually did hike it, it would have to be for a purpose and along came the Sony Foundation’s Trek the Larapinta Trail for You Can Stay,” she said.
The Sony Foundation ‘You Can Stay’ program provides regional and rural cancer patients aged 15 – 25 years and their families with free accommodation at Quest Apartment hotels near the hospital for the duration of their treatment.
Amy and her family wish this program was around when Jacob was going through his cancer treatment. They were forced to travel more than 100km to hospital in Sydney from their home in Shellharbour, costing them a lot of money and time away from the support of family and friends.
“While Jacob was undergoing treatment in Sydney, there weren’t any types of free accommodation available,” Amy said.
“Jacobs wishes were for there to be somewhere where young people with cancer can come, stay with their families, so instead I am raising much-needed funds for other youth cancer patients and their families, so they are able to spend time together through their cancer journey’s.”
After an exhausting six days of trekking through the heat and harsh terrain of the Northern Territory, it was her brother’s strength that pushed Amy to reach the top of Mount Sonder, one of the territory’s highest mountains, for sunrise.
“Thinking about Jacob’s strength through his journey helped me push through, especially climbing up Mount Sonder in the last 2km, I kept getting bursts of energy here and there and I just knew in the back of my mind that it was Jacob somehow saying ‘you can do it’,” she said.
“I’ve achieved something incredible for an amazing cause and most of all to make my brother’s wishes and dreams come true in his absence.”
Every $100 raised funds for one night of emergency accommodation for a young cancer patient.
You can still support Amy and help make a difference for young people and their families going through cancer treatment. Head to https://www.sonyfoundation.org/fundraisers/amywieck/larapinta2021 to donate.