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The Bloody Long Walk

Home > Melbourne > Adventure | Beaches | Community Events | Unusual Things to do | Walks
by Jenny Rossiter (subscribe)
Writer, photographer, educator, explorer of places new, with a passion for adding fun back into life.
A One Day Holiday
Here is your opportunity to explore the iconic route of the Yarra River from Melbourne's northern parklands to the vibrant atmosphere of Southbank.

Bloody Long Walk, Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

Breathe the sea air at Port Phillip Bay. Follow the stunning coastline past the beaches of St Kilda all the way to the bathing huts of Brighton. Sound like a dream day?

Then it's time to take up the challenge of The Bloody Long Walk. Following its success last year, The Bloody Long Walk returns to Melbourne in 2015.

Bloody Long Walk, Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

There are many health benefits associated with being near water due to the presence of negative ions in the atmosphere. These aid relaxation, enhance the immune system and relieve symptoms of allergies, asthma, cold and flu. Think what spending a day near the sea will do for you. It's a one day holiday and energising boost to the week.

Be Part of a Crowd for a Cause
In 2014, $480 000 was raised by 2200 people walking in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. This money was used to raise funds for a cure for Mitochondrial disease. The Bloody Long Walk has gone national in 2015 with participants walking in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide. This is one of the major annual fundraisers run by the Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation.


What is Mitochondrial disease?
Mitochondrial disease (or mito for short), is a debilitating genetic disorder that steals energy from the body's cells. It causes multiple organ dysfunction, failure and can lead to death. There are very few effective treatments and no cure.

Depending on which parts of their bodies are affected and to what degree, people with mitochondrial disease can:

lose their sight or hearing

suffer muscle weakness and pain

be unable to walk, eat, swallow or talk normally

have strokes or seizures

develop liver disease or diabetes

suffer heart, respiratory or digestive problems

experience developmental delays or intellectual disability.

Needing to stay in bed to rest and recharge is a common outward symptom of mitochondrial disease. Inside the body, mitochondrial disease may literally cause any symptom in any organ at any age.

Mito affects both children and adults. Multiple family members can be affected due to its genetic basis. Mito has multiple forms and is difficult to diagnose.

About 100,000 Australians or more than 1 in 200 people may carry genetic mutations that put them at risk of developing Mitochondrial disease. One in 5000 people suffer from a life-threatening form of the disease. After cystic fibrosis it is the second most commonly diagnosed, serious genetic disease.

The Bloody Long Walk, Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

One Participant's Story
Karen Crawley is a GP and mother of three children, who all have Mitochondrial disease. Her daughter Kara is severely affected.

Karen competed in the Sydney BLW last year and did something unexpected and inspiring. She completed the 35km course pushing a 15kg wheelchair covered with the names and photos of those who have lost their lives to mito and those who are suffering from the disease. Amazingly, Karen ran this distance. She also willingly carried the wheelchair up and down many stairs, over sandy beaches and through 3-4km of bush tracks.

The Bloody Long Walk, Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

Karen did this to raise awareness of Mitochondrial disease and as a testimony to the real people the participants in The Bloody Long Walk were supporting.

The Bloody Long Walk is a fully supported course with rest stations, checkpoints and stunning river and ocean views along the route. Do you have what it takes walk The Bloody Long Walk?

Images supplied by Australian Mitochondrial Disease Foundation

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Why? Spend a day enjoying great river and coastal views, improving your own fitness and benefiting others.
When: Sunday 6 September 2015
Where: Abbortsford to Brighton
Cost: Super Early Bird Fee $88 (Save $22)
Your Comment
The walks are always a good way to raise money and awareness for a cause. I had not heard of this disease before reading your article.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|8000) 1855 days ago
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