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Fundraiser nears journey's end

Andrew Cadigan kicks up his heels after walking into Mackay. The cancer and leukaemia fundraiser has less than 2000km to go before completing his round-Australia walk.
Andrew Cadigan kicks up his heels after walking into Mackay. The cancer and leukaemia fundraiser has less than 2000km to go before completing his round-Australia walk. Tony Martin

ONE thousand, eight hundred and ninety-two kilometres - that's a long home stretch.

But when you've spent the last year and a half walking around Australia like cancer crusader Andrew Cadigan, distance can become relative.

Yesterday, Mr Cadigan walked into Mackay after having already completed more than 13,000 kilometres of his journey to raise funds for cancer research.

He has battled exhaustion, heatwaves and highway traffic all in the memory of a mate who lost a battle with myelodysplastic syndromes (formerly known as pre-leukemia), in May 2010.

Mr Cadigan began his walk in Sydney in December 2010 and hasn't looked back since.

"The thought of giving up has crossed my mind but the main reason I keep going is 'cause I'm doing it for a mate," Mr Cadigan said.

"I raised $25,000 for the Cancer Council and now... I'm up to $28,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation.

"The money is going to a university in Melbourne for research and that's really what I wanted from the get go.

"I said I want the money to go to research."

Mr Cadigan uses a modified pram to cart around a few meagre belongings including a tent, which he uses to camp next to the highway.

"I'm on my ninth pair of shoes and third set of tyres," he said.

"The best part was the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

"The hardest were the Kimberleys in December - it was 45 degrees and 100% humidity."

Mr Cadigan said people had been incredibly generous with donations along the way.

"It's pretty much people pulling over and giving their spare change," he said.

"I got $100 yesterday. On Saturday one of the local blokes, named Henry, bought me some food - a roast-gravy roll... I get that quite a bit."

If you would like to donate to Mr Cadigan's cause, check out his website at www.ozonfoot.com and click 'donate'.

Topics:  cancer fundraiser fundraiser leukaemia foundation leukemia



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