George is the mum of 3 beautiful girls and our Op’s person here at Food Babies Love. George joined Food Babies Love in 2014 and shares Emily’s vision of ensuring the best start for all children. She is the glue that keeps us together.
In June, George is taking on a personal challenge of epic proportions. She and good friend, Hollie, are walking and riding 1698 kms from Alice Springs to the Sea (Cable Beach) for a very special cause. They are raising money and awareness for The Mercy Hospital NICU ward and their Pram Jam Project to further research into pre-term and still births.
This is a cause that also hits home with me as my twins (Sophie and Louis) were born 8 weeks prematurely. Without early intervention and medical treatment, they would not have survived. So I encourage you all to get behind this campaign.
Over to George.
What on earth has motivated you to do this?
Our trek takes its inspiration from Robyn Davidson’s 1977 expedition, immortalised in the book and movie, Tracks.
I first came across the movie when in hospital at the Mercy. I was about 10 weeks pregnant at the time and had been told my pregnancy would not be viable and simply too dangerous to continue. As a result, I had to undergo an emergency hysterectomy. I was in my hospital bed waiting for the surgeon watching tracks. Half way through the movie I was wheeled down for the operation.
There was something about Robyn’s determination that resonated with me instantly. I told the anesthetists, doctors and nurses, I had to get back to my room ASAP to finish the movie and that I was going to walk from Alice Springs to the coast one day, too. I vividly remember them all laughing as I was put to sleep and then even more so when I woke and it was the first thing I said.
A few days later while still at the Mercy, I watched the rest of the movie and made the commitment to myself that I would do it. Nothing was going to stop me. So I texted my family and made the commitment that I would do it in 2 years’ time. June 1st marks the 2nd anniversary and is also my start date.
Tell us about your cause?
100% of the money raised from our campaign will be donated to The Mercy Hospital for Women. The money will be divided between the NICU ward and the Pram Jam which provides much needed research into pre-term and still births.
Every year in Australia, over 48,000 newborn babies need the help of the NICU or Special Care Nursery, and 25,000 are born prematurely. Five babies are stillborn every single day. Our aim is to reduce these rates, you can help to reduce and provide some much-needed support to the families affected.
This adventure is to acknowledge the joys and the hardships of pregnancy, and most importantly, raise awareness for those babies who never make it home.
How do you train for an event like this?
I probably haven’t done enough to tell you the truth. It’s really hard managing it all around the kids and work. Until January, I hadn’t been on a bike for 15 years. But I have built up fitness by going to the gym daily and at least one ride or walk a day as well. On weekends, if I have time, I do a long-distance ride or walk, often up the Yarra Valley and back. I LOVE walking and I am always on the hunt for a walking partner.
Hollie has been putting in some serious km’s up in the Northern Territory where she lives. I am nervous her fitness level will exceed mine, but we both agree this trek will be 80% mental and 20% physical.
Where will you sleep?
We are lucky enough to have a support crew who will meet us at the end of each day and assist with setting up camp. We will be sleeping in swags. A good friend of mine told me a few weeks ago that she has memories of being in Alice Springs sleeping in a swag and heaps of scorpions climbing in. Now I can’t stop thinking about the bloody scorpions.
How many pairs of shoes will you take?
I get asked this question a lot. I am taking 5. I have opted for runners and Hollie is wearing more of a hiking boot and taking some hybrids as well. There has been a lot of discussion about shoes.
How will you go being away from your kids and family?
This is going to be the most challenging thing for me. I am incredibly thankful to my husband, Ryan, for supporting me. It s a very selfless act and something I will always be thankful for.
There are big chunks of time when I won’t be in phone range so communication will be challenging. I have to keep reminding myself it’s all temporary and I have a great support base at home so they will all be ok.
What are you looking forward to the most?
Going walkabout! I am looking forward to the simplicity of going bush, the silence, the exploration and being removed from my comfort zone.
A swim in the pristine waters of Cable Beach and a cold can of coke at the end will be bloody UNREAL, too. I am totally addicted to coke and haven’t had one since January. So needless to say I am hanging for that moment.