A Stage 4 prostate cancer diagnosis would stop most people in their tracks, but for Jim Walker, he used it as motivation to get fit and take on a challenging 800km trek while raising money for prostate cancer research at the same time.
Jim set his sights on the Camino Santiago, an 800km walk on the medieval pilgrimage trail across the north of Spain. He felt the spiritual nature of the Camino would help him to keep a positive mindset about his diagnosis.
If completing this extraordinary challenge wasn’t incredible enough, Jim also raised over $13,000 for APC!
“I did a lot of research and had many conversations with doctors to understand the disease and concluded that prostate cancer was close to being managed as a chronic condition, rather than being a life sentence,” Jim said.
“I wanted to do my bit and get some funding for the researchers so they can push the envelope. Even if it’s too late for me, it may help others.
“I convinced my son to do the walk with me just in case my condition deteriorated drastically. Luckily, I felt better and better as I travelled!”
The pair trekked about 25km each day for 33 days, including three mountain climbs of over 1200m in elevation, totalling more than 800km travelled. For Jim, the trek through rural Spain, seeing ancient villages, farms, people and views, was breathtaking.
Finally finishing the walk was the ultimate highlight for Jim.
“You meet many travellers along the way and they are all walking for their own reasons – most of them spiritual or wrestling with demons of some sort.
“When you arrive in Santiago you meet people you may not have seen for weeks and your first instinct is to hug them. You have many contemplative or meditative moments on the trip.”
“It’s hard for me to envision a future free from prostate cancer as I don’t think it will be achievable for me, but for brothers, sons and fathers in future, a future free of prostate cancer means taking a demon off their shoulders, allowing a more satisfying life.”
Jim’s incredible achievement and amazing donation allows us to continue funding lifesaving medical research into prostate cancer.
If you would like to learn more about fundraising for APC, click here or call us on (08) 8243 1101.