Walking in the shoes of our CEO

It was with much relief, sore legs and a healthy dose of achievement that Very Special Kids CEO, Michael Wasly crossed the finish line after nine and a half hours of walking the 50km Upstream Challenge last year.

The Upstream Challenge is a 50km walk or run from Melbourne to Donvale along the picturesque Yarra river.

Michael concedes that his one practice hike was ill preparation for the 50km walk, but with a good supply of blister patches and the success of a 108 hole golf marathon still fresh in his mind, he was not one to shy away from the challenge.

“I like a challenge, particularly if it involves new experiences of places, so the thought of walking the Yarra was interesting,” said Michael.

The idea of spending the better part of a day in the pleasant, green bushland surrounds of the Yarra River is alluring in itself yet Michael views the walk as a great way to support Very Special Kids, which is predominately self-funded.

“The money we received in 2016 from the Upstream Challenge enabled us to provide hospice access for about 60 families, so it was a significant contributor,” explained Michael.

Raising money for a charity is a great motivator for a physical challenge like this but convincing others to sponsor you can prove somewhat of a hurdle in itself so here’s what Michael has to say.

“We exist to support children with life-threatening conditions and their families. Caring for a very sick child is a full time job and it places enormous strain on a family’s wellbeing, in particular the siblings,” said Michael.

Very Special Kids uniquely provides continued and ongoing support to families during and after the death of their child so it’s a critical role that the organisation plays in a family’s future.

So whether you’re in it for the burger and massage on completion, the scenery, the physical challenge or to support us at Very Special Kids, Michael knows first hand that you’re sure to reflect on your walk with much well deserved pride.

If this sounds like something you would like to do, you can register for the Upstream Challenge here.