Local Girl Guides leader Anita Neate will be tackling the Larapinta Trek in the Northern Territory this June, to help raise funds and awareness for epilepsy.
Anita spoke with The Cobar Weekly last week about her battles with nocturnal epilepsy.
“I have had epilepsy for as long as I can remember.
“Being diagnosed at age 18 months old, it has most definitely had an impact on my life and the lives of my family,” Anita said.
“Growing up in the country, medical facilities, information, education and support were not things that were easy to come by,” she said.
Anita said all these necessities still aren’t as easily available as they should be.
She said Epilepsy Action Australia has been established for 20 years but requires donations and fundraisers so they can support and supply affected families with information.
Anita has been preparing for the 64.4km trek by walking regularly around her family’s property but will need to pass a medical clearance before participating in the trek.
“There is a doctor’s certificate that I need to get filled out.
“Most of the questions on there I can answer ‘yes’ to.
“Hopefully I will be fit enough.”
In addition to walking Anita has also started fitness classes, and will soon start playing netball and also basketball each week as well.
Anita said as far as she knows she doesn’t think there is anyone else with epilepsy who will be attempting this year’s trek.
She said with a doctor accompanying trek participants, that’s one of the reasons she thinks she will be able to complete the trek.
Anita said she had previously looked into doing the Great Wall of China walk for epilepsy however it didn’t offer any medical staff support.
On this trek Anita will have her breakfast, lunch and dinner prepared for her and the camp site will be set up when they arrive at each of their designated overnight stops—basically all she has to do is walk and fundraise.
Anita has a fundraising target of $3,500.
To help her reach that target she is running a raffle, plans to hold a pistol club competition and a few fundraising dinners.
“All donations over $2 are tax deductible,” she said.
Anita admits that at times it is hard living with epilepsy and finds it difficult to hold down a job as her seizures can be debilitating.
She does however think she is lucky to have had great support from her family.
“They have always been there in the background.
“They don’t really complain and try not to take away my independence, which isn’t easy at times,” Anita said.