Melbourne couple David and Hayley Smith-Devereux are swapping the building tops of the city for the mountain tops of the Himalayas for a cause that is close to their hearts.
3 Feb 2020
Melbourne couple David and Hayley Smith-Devereux are swapping the building tops of the city for the mountain tops of the Himalayas in April, for a cause close to their hearts.
They are heading to Nepal on a trek run by Flight Centre and World Expeditions to raise much-needed funds for Redkite, a national charity that provides emotional, financial and educational support to families facing the upheaval of their child’s cancer diagnosis.
Two years ago, David’s youngest sister was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 22, in the United Kingdom.
“Her treatment and eventual recovery was a long and challenging journey for the entire family, which was made easier by the support we received,” David said.
“Thankfully, she is now in remission and has a beautiful nine-month-old baby girl. I’ve learnt from my sister’s experience of cancer that support for the whole family is very important. The way Redkite helps the whole family through their child’s cancer is vital,” David said.
The 10-day journey, with eight days of walking, is designed to be accessible to a broad range of fitness levels. Trekkers will traverse their way up through Nepal’s breathtaking Annapurna mountain range, reaching a maximum altitude of 4000m, and will navigate pristine alpine forests and high-altitude pastures.
The trip is part of the Community Million Dollar Challenge, an initiative of Flight Centre and World Expeditions, to encourage like-minded individuals to take on special travel challenges to raise $1 million for Australian charities.
Adventurers will also get the unique chance to explore one of the most sacred mountains in Nepal, the fluted peak of Machapuchare.
Participants are required to raise a minimum amount of $2000 each for the charity as part of the Community Million Dollar Challenge.
“Cancer has impacted almost every Australian at one point in our lives. The work that Redkite provides young people and families at a time of need is absolutely essential. They really support the battle that they are going through and deserve our support,” Hayley said.
Redkite’s CEO, Monique Keighery, said she was inspired by David and Hayley’s ambition to help families whose lives have been turned upside down by their child’s cancer.
“Every day, I hear from families whose lives have stopped because they’ve heard the words: ‘Your child has cancer’. At Redkite, we believe that no family should face the devasting impacts of their child’s cancer alone,” Ms Keighery said.
“It’s wonderful to see people like David and Hayley who are really going the distance for families facing cancer. Their generosity and passion are fuelled by their personal connection to our cause and understanding of cancer’s impacts. The gratitude of everyone at Redkite will be with them on their trek every step of the way,” Ms Keighery added.
With spots now available until the end of February, David and Hayley are urging everyone around Australia to sign up before they miss out on the trek of a lifetime.
“Whether you are young or old or whether you exercise or don’t exercise, this trek really is an incredible opportunity where you can achieve something amazing for yourself and an extremely worthwhile cause,” Hayley said.