Biloela woman to trek around Great Wall of China
BILOELA woman Ursula Sleeman will be embarking on the adventure of her lifetime next year - an eight-day trek around the Great Wall of China.
And it has a sentimental meaning for the mother of three - it will be in honour of her late husband Todd, who passed away earlier this year.
Todd was diagnosed with myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer that affects the plasma cells, in February 2016 and sadly passed away on January 26.
Todd was born in Rockhampton and spent his childhood years at Cawarral and Barlows Hill before attending high school at St Brendan's in Yeppoon.
After completing his schooling, he began his working career at Livingstone Shire Council in the finance section in 1978.
The trek is being run by adventure fundraising group called Inspired Adventures which raises money for the Leukaemia Foundation.
The tour in June next year will start and finish in Beijing and encompass trekking on and around the Great Wall as well as other significant highlights including Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven.
"The reason I've taken on this challenge is to give back to the Leukaemia Foundation for all they have done for our family and to honour my late husband Todd and the courageous battle he fought with myeloma," Ursula said.
"By raising money I aim to help the Leukaemia Foundation to continue to provide practical and emotional support to families like ours when they need to relocate for their loved ones to receive lifesaving treatment as well as to contribute towards research to discover safer and more effective treatments that will save lives and help people lead a better quality of life.
"The Leukaemia Foundation provided our family with accommodation in Brisbane as well as other practical assistance and emotional support for eight and a half months in 2016 and a further two months from December 2017.
"The assistance provided to us was heart-warming and generous and made being away from our home, work, school, family and community that little bit easier.
"I want to give back for the wonderful services our family received and to enable the Leukaemia Foundation to continue to provide their services as well as invest in research to hopefully one day find a cure for all blood cancers."
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The trek will provide Ursula with a number of personal challenges - physically, mentally and emotionally.
It will push her limits, she will meet new people and travel overseas for the first time without Todd.
"It will also be a good bonding experience with like-minded people... we all will have stories to share," she said.
"It will be an eye-opening country... it's not a country I would think to visit."
Having never done something like this before, Ursula feels she has underestimated the physical strength the journey would take. Biloela Fitness has sponsored Ursula with a six-month membership in honour of the charity trek.
"I have a fitness mission ahead of me," she said.
The looming trek has given Ursula a new direction in life.
"It makes me think about how more lives can be saved down the track."
Ursula has a team of family and friends that will be coordinating fundraising events and activities.
She needs to raise a minimum of $3500 and has a goal of $5000.