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June 6, 2023

Schoolboys trek 130km for brain cancer research

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Three Byron Bay teens have hiked from Cape Byron to Brooms Head, raising over $3,300 for brain cancer research and awareness.

Kai Ferguson, Sam Burden and Noah Brink, all 17, walked the 130 km route in four days to fundraise for the Mark Hughes Foundation.

‘My family’s had separate cases of brain cancer on my mum’s side of the family,’ Sam Burden said. ‘The research is pretty underfunded in Australia, so I thought the Mark Hughes Foundation would be a pretty good cause.’

The boys sweated through their four day trek. Supplied: Kai Ferguson.

The boys admitted, however, that the trek was far more difficult than they expected.

When they were planning, ‘doing 40 km [a day] didn’t seem that bad,’ said Sam. ‘At the end of the first day, we were really tired, our legs just ached, it was like 11 hours the first day.’

‘It didn’t help also that we chose probably the four hottest days of the year to do our walk on. We got very sunburnt.’

Sam, Kai and Noah, who all attend St Johns College Woodlawn in Lismore, finished the trek on January 15.

Sam is still having treatment for severe blisters and said if the walk hadn’t been for a good cause, he would have quit on the third day. ‘I had to load up on painkillers just to keep going… because we were doing it for a charity, that was the only thing that kept me going.’

Kai said that now the walk is over and they have raised over $3,300 it feels ‘pretty cool’.

‘The amount of support we got was awesome, we ended up tripling our initial goal.’

They were also personally thanked for their efforts by Mark Hughes.

The Mark Hughes Foundation provides grants for brain cancer research and patient support, including through the NRL’s Beanie for Brain Cancer Round.

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