ANYONE who visits the Ochre Health Medical Centre in Tea Gardens will know Andrea Hammond as the young receptionist who is always there to greet you with a ready smile and a kind word.
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Andrea along with three other Ochre employees will soon be stepping out from behind the desk and the care of their patients, to take part in what’s called ‘The Bloody Long Walk’.
“I wanted to do something and then I found this on Facebook and the stories were so inspiring and so sad, I thought that’s it,” Andrea Hammond said.
‘The Bloody Long Walk’ is a 35 kilometre challenge from Belmont to Newcastle to raise funds for research into the heartbreaking disease, Mitochondrial.
‘Mito’ can affect anyone of any age.
Sometimes it’s caused by an inherited gene mutation while for others it has a spontaneous onset with no known cause.
The effects are devastating on both the sufferer and their families.
When the Lions Club’s Jeff Fowler learnt about Andrea’s fundraising initiative, he didn’t hesitate to suggest to his colleagues that the Lions Club get on board.
“It’s a local group of young people who are doing something of their own bat,” Jeff said.
“It personifies our community and how generous and how willing they are to help,” he said.
Last week, Jeff and other Lions Club members donated $500 to the Ochre’s fundraising efforts for ‘Mito’.
If you’d like to support the Ochre staff in their 35 kilometre challenge you can drop off your donation at the Medical Centre at Myall Quays or head to the website, www.bloodylongwalk.com.au
By Margie TIERNEY