Hates walking, but walks 15,000km for cancer

LATER this week, probably Thursday, a man who hates walking will cross the Sydney Harbour Bridge to finish a 15,000 kilometre walk around Australia in honour of his mate.

And if Andrew Cadigan, 31, never says another word about his 18-month trek, he’ll be happy – or at least that’s how he was feeling yesterday, while nursing a leg injury and walking the Pacific Highway about 25 kilometres north of Hexham bridge.

‘‘I feel like when I wake up on Friday it will be day one again – but it will be day one of my new life,’’ he said.

Mr Cadigan, of North Avoca, gave up his job, sold his house and started walking on December 27, 2010, to raise money for cancer and leukaemia research.

The walk followed the death of his friend, Chris Simpson, 24, after complications from a bone marrow transplant to treat myelodysplasia, a leukaemia-linked condition.

So far he’s raised $25,000 for the Cancer Council, and almost $40,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation – the majority donated by people pulling off the road as they see him pushing a pram with a sign saying ‘‘Walking for Cancer’’.

The donations have been in small amounts, but ‘‘when you’re out there walking for as long as I’ve been walking, the small amounts add up’’.

Mr Cadigan was a smoker and drinker when he started, and his idea of a walk wasn’t much further than a stroll to the mailbox.

‘‘I’d take the dog for a walk to the beach and I’d wait while he chased seagulls,’’ he said.

He managed 12 kilometres on day one. By yesterday he was well on the way to finishing a 128 kilometre non-stop stint from Karuah to Kariong, which he expects to reach by noon today.

The worst points were the freezing wet of south-west Western Australia in July last year, and the Kimberley in December in 45-degree heat.

Donations can be made at ozonfoot.com

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