Bega Valley woman and breast cancer survivor Virginia Fitzclarence will trek in Nepal in 2019 to raise funds for Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA).
BCNA is the peak national organisation for Australians affected by breast cancer, and provides information and support for those experiencing the disease.
Ms Fitzclarence will join 20 other women on the trek to Nepal to give back to a network she says supported her during her own breast cancer journey.
“In 2015 I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and part of understanding the realities of being in that position is realising that there are a lot of decisions that you need to make – when you’ll have your treatment, who will form your support network,” Ms Fitzclarence said.
“It can all be quite overwhelming, so BCNA provided me with what they call ‘My Journey Kit’, which basically takes you through the entire breast cancer journey, from telling you when different decisions have to be made, to including real life stories of those who have been on the journey before.
“I called it my bible for getting through the journey for myself!”
Earlier this year, Ms Fitzclarence received an email informing her of a trek to Nepal that would raise funds for the network, and the decision was a no-brainer.
“It seemed to be a great way to give back to an organisation that was so helpful to me in my journey,” she said.
Participants in the trek pay their own way for travel and accommodation, but must also raise $4000 for BCNA in order to qualify.
As well as being an opportunity to fundraise for a cause close to her heart, there were a number of other factors that compelled Ms Fitzclarence to sign up for the trek.
“One of the reasons I wanted to do this was because of the extensive research done that shows how beneficial exercise like walking can be in the prevention of and recovery from breast cancer,” she said.
“It’ll also be a wonderful opportunity to spend some time with other women who have experienced the same journey I have.
“And, I just love the idea of seeing Kathmandu and staying in the tea lodges.”
Ms Fitzclarence is in the process of setting up her online donations page, but in the meantime, there will be other events and fundraisers to support her cause.
Part of the money raised at a Go Pink event at the Bega Country Club this Saturday night will be donated to Ms Fitzclarence’s fundraising efforts.
“I’ll be holding some more events and fundraisers in the lead-up to the trek, so keep an eye out in the next few months,” she said.