The Longest Melanoma March takes a break in Medowie

 

Cathie MacMillan, Karen Ryan, Corinne Leslie, Jay Allen, Michelle Muir and Johnno Bensley set off from Medowie Bull n Bush for Newcastle.
Cathie MacMillan, Karen Ryan, Corinne Leslie, Jay Allen, Michelle Muir and Johnno Bensley set off from Medowie Bull n Bush for Newcastle.

 

ON Friday night, a team of very special people walked into town.

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They arrived quietly, but brought a very important message.

Jay Allen and his team from Melanoma Australia are on a mammoth expedition, walking on foot the entire way from Brisbane to Sydney, aptly named the ‘Longest Melanoma March’, raising funds for Melanoma research.

They chose Medowie as one of their stops overnight, and News Of The Area met with them bright and early on day 21 to learn about Jay’s journey, see him and his walkers on the next leg of their trip, and share their important plight.

Forty-year-old Jay Allen’s life changed eight years ago when he found a mole on his ankle that look unusual and kept rubbing on his work boots and bleeding.

Almost overnight, he went from being a typical Aussie bloke, husband and dad, to being a cancer patient, when the mole was diagnosed as a melanoma that had spread to his lymph nodes.

Melanoma is the number one cancer killer of Australians aged 20 to 39.

Jay is a survivor, but he’s on a mission now to help others.

Jay told News Of The Area, “I am walking for all of us who have been affected by Melanoma, and the work that the Institute is doing.”

“No one should be dying from Melanoma.”

Anyone could apply to walk with Jay on a day of his journey, and those with their own experiences with Melanoma were encouraged to join him.

When News Of The Area met Jay in Medowie, he was accompanied by Johnno Bensley, Karen Ryan who is on board the crew for the 29 days, Cathie MacMillan who was diagnosed with stage one melanoma 20 years ago, and Michelle Muir and Corinne Leslie walking for Corinne’s father who passed away from Melanoma nine years ago.

To help Jay reach his $250,000 target, go to https://thelongestmelanomamarch.gofundraise.com.au.

 

By Rachael VAUGHAN

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