This Sunday more than 3,000 participants will walk 35km along the Northern Beaches coastline to raise awareness about Mitochondrial disease and funds for The Mito Foundation.
Mitochondrial disease (mito) is a debilitating, potentially fatal genetic disorder that robs the body’s cells of the energy they need to function properly. There are no cures and few effective treatments.
The Bloody Long Walk will stretch from Palm Beach to Manly Promenade and will entail a seven hour walk and a total of nearly 47,000 steps.
Walkers will have an extra spring in their step this year, following the recent introduction of the Mitochondrial Donation Law Reform (Maeve’s Law) Bill 2021 into Federal Parliament, in March this year.
The passing of this legislation would allow for further research into donated tissue with the aim of preventing mitochondrial disease (Mito) in future generations of Australian kids.
Mito Foundation CEO Sean Murray has welcomed the progress and said that it’s a stepping- stone for all those suffering from this often unheard disease.
“It’s a step in the right direction and it has now given hope for those in the Mito community and especially for those in the future who are born with this disease.” Mr Murray said.
Mr Murray told Manly Observer that the Bloody Long Walk has gone from strength to strength since it first started on the Beaches in 2013.
“I am overwhelmed by the support from the broader community, especially knowing we started this walk in 2013 with 300 participants and now having over 3,000 for Sunday, it’s an amazing achievement from all of those involved.” he said.
Mito is a terrible disease that sadly affects 50 babies a year with a severe form of Mito, with the majority of those not living past the age of five.
“The truth is every week in Australia one child will develop a life-threatening form of Mito – that’s 50 Aussie kids a year. Yet most people have no idea that the disease exists,” Mr Murray said.
The Mito Foundation was established in 2009 by Northern Beaches locals Doug and Margie Lingard after losing a son and daughter to the disease.
In a combined effort with friends and experts in the industry, the couple was committed to improving the lives of those affected by the disease.
Notwithstanding the difficult events of the last two years, Mr Murray was overwhelmed with the expression of interest for this event.
“Despite the challenges with Covid-19, the response has been unbelievable for our Sydney North event, which is one of the nine physical and virtual Bloody Long Walks taking place across Australia this year,” he said.
As more than 3,000 participants gear up for Sunday’s walk, Mr Murray revealed the extent to which events like this not just support those suffering from the disease but also their families.
The event starts at 6.30am at Governor Phillip Park, Palm Beach and ends at the Manly Promenade opposite the Corso.
If you are interested in supporting this foundation and want to get involved in Sunday’s event, visit www.bloodylongwalk.com.au and register your interest.