Walking upstream and raising funds for Very Special Kids

A chilly start to the day didn’t stop Upstream Challenge participants from setting off with high spirits and determination.

Starting at Gosch’s Paddock in Richmond, those that took on the 50km endurance walk followed the Yarra River upstream before crossing the finish line at Donvale. There was also a 20km event starting in Ivanhoe.

Whether they were walking, jogging, running or skipping, all participants pushed themselves and did so for a very worthy cause.

Upstream Foundation chairman Paul Gruber said “it can be really hard work to reach the finish line and we see lots of smiling faces but there are also many emotions. This year was no exception with many families participating in memory of their loved ones.”

One of those families was the Cooper family who decided to take on the challenge in memory of their son Jaxon who lost his battle to a brain tumour at 10-years-old.

“The walk was a huge challenge” said mother Jodie Cooper, “but if Jaxon could push through and face challenges with his condition, this was something we could do to help show our support and raise funds for others with his condition.”

We are delighted to announce the Upstream Challenge has hit the target of raising over $200,000 with more funds still coming in.

These funds will be allocated between three charity partners: The Isabella and Marcus Paediatric Brainstem Tumour Fund, the Summer Foundation and Very Special Kids.

This funding for Very Special Kids will allow us to continue running our Mates Weekends program supporting children with life threatening conditions. Mates Weekends are designed to bring children together who have high-cognitive ability and are facing similar physical challenges. Read more about Mates Weekends here.

On behalf of Very Special Kids, we are very thankful for the incredible support from the Upstream Foundation and wish to congratulate all participants.