Youngcare provides age appropriate care and accommodation for young people with high care needs. Places are limited, however, and there are thousands of young people forced to enter aged-care facilities ill-equipped to serve their requirements.
For many in the group, the journey is a personal one, as they have first-hand experience of having a loved one in need of care.
Jenepher Hintz of Bunya Mountains plans to complete the epic hike as tribute to her husband who suffered a brain tumour in his Twenties – this was followed by several strokes.
Peter is now in his 40s and needs her full-time care.
“Apart from my obvious enthusiasm for walking challenges, I plan on completing the Youngcare Simpson Desert Challenge as a tribute to my beautiful husband.
“When I need a break to recharge my batteries I am forced to seek assistance from aged-care facilities as there just isn’t a service here that caters for young people, like my Pete, with high-care needs.
“I am committed to beating the disease that has crippled my husband by raising awareness and funds for Youngcare to lobby Government and bring about policy change and system reform.
“Every sand-dune I conquer on the 320-kilometre trek across the heart of the Simpson Desert will be one dune closer to establishing a network of Youngcare facilities right throughout Australia!” she says.
Only six people have ever completed the trek on foot but the group are confident they have the passion and motivation to complete their quest.
As another walker, Cat Edwards says on the Youngcare website:
“I’m lucky enough to be a young, healthy, active Australian with the opportunity to live the kind of life I choose – for some, this is something they can only dream about.”
To follow the team’s progress through the desert, click here.
The trekkers are still fundraising until June 30, 2011. To show your support and make a donation, please click here.
Photos credited to Youngcare’s website and Facebook page