Walking for a loved one’s future

An Erica man is nearing the end of a 300 kilometre trek from Lakes Entrance to Cranbourne, raising money for his sister’s life-saving surgery.

Mathew Shaw began his 12-day journey on 7 October, passing through Latrobe Valley last weekend on his way to Cranbourne.

Mr Shaw’s sister, Robyn Griffith, is a mother-of-five battling breast cancer and needs a mastectomy and hysterectomy.

Surgery is estimated to cost $30,000.

Without private health insurance and not trusting the public health system that provided an initial misdiagnosis, Ms Griffith’s family are raising the money for her medical treatment themselves.

“My parents took out a loan for the first operation, which was also paid for with money from my sister’s husband’s family,” Mr Shaw said.

“The money has to be paid up front, otherwise they won’t do the surgery.

“We’ve held a head shave and auction and now the walk.

“With all the events we’ve raised $16,000 so far, but we’re still $14,000 short of getting the surgery.”

The 29 year-old said he was laying awake in bed one night, unable to sleep and frustrated that there was nothing he could do about his sister’s troubles when the idea of walking a long distance came to him.

After gaining the sponsorship needed to embark, which also included free accommodation in all the towns he visited, Mr Shaw convinced his step-dad Donald Moore to help him on the journey.

“He drops me off and picks me up. Whenever I’m walking he’s raising money at a supermarket or shop… he’s done a great job,” Mr Shaw said.

Mr Shaw said he spent Friday and Saturday night in Traralgon walking around to the different bars and pubs, raising money, but also hearing “touching” stories of individuals with family members also battling cancer.

“Those stories have inspired me as well. Even though I’m doing this for my sister, these people have given me that motivation and inspiration to keep going,” he said.

Donations to Mr Shaw’s cause are tax-deductible, with receipts provided on request and all money going to Ms Griffith’s medical costs.

To donate visit Facebook and search Robyns Caped Crusaders Walk For Breast Cancer.