Trekking the Larapinta Trail for MND

Trekking the Larapinta Trail for MND

A patient at Macquarie University Hospital has inspired Paula McShane on her 250km trek across the Northern Territory.

Paula, After Hours Manager at the Hospital, typically works evening shifts. While most patients are asleep at this time, Paula struck up a relationship with Kirsten Harley who is living with MND and is frequently awake for a visit. “Kirsten and I both celebrated our 50th birthdays this year, so we have a bit in common there,” shares Paula. “I’m a keen walker and had already planned to walk the Larapinta Trail with a friend, but after getting to know Kirsten and her story, I found another purpose for my trek.” Inspired by her patients and the work of Professor Dom Rowe, Paula raised over $2,000 for the MND Research Centre from family and friends.

When asked about the conditions of the 16-day trek, Paula tells details of beautiful but gruelling conditions across rocky, challenging terrain. “I often reflect on how lucky I am to be able to walk and exercise as much as I do but on this trek, I felt particularly inspired to take advantage of what others may not be able to.” Sleeping in swags and not having access to basic amenities can be very challenging on the body but pales in comparison to the experiences of those who have been diagnosed with MND.

All funds raised as part of the June trek have been donated to the fight against MND which Paula names as “a very, very mean disease.” If you are interested in fundraising for the Macquarie University MND Research Centre, please contact community@mq.edu.au or 02 9850 1357.

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