By Steve Carle
Volunteering for The Hits 210km/$210 Ronald McDonald House Challenge turned out to be an even bigger challenge for Ngawapurua's Maddi O'Leary, who ended up walking 504km, averaging more than 16km a day.
"Its not unusual for people my age  to do things for charity, but to walk over 500km for charity - some of my friends' comments were like 'are you mad'? Or they can't believe how far I've walked," she said.
Maddi was accompanied by a dog called Charlie for over 100km - a fit dog now. "It helped, Mum being in pet care, there's always dogs around. I've pretty much had a dog with me at all times - they really like walking, and I do too.
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"When I saw the challenge advertised, I thought 'I can do that' and to raise money for a good cause."
"Ronald McDonald House helps families stay near the hospitals in major cities, helping them pay for rooms and food while they have children in hospital.
The challenge had to be completed in the month of March, Maddi started on March 1 and after two weeks she reached the 210km milestone and met the financial goal of $210.
"I found out somebody I know had cancer for the second time, so I kept going, I wanted to see how far I could go and how much money I could raise. It became kind of personal.
"I decided to go for 420km, kept going past that and actually did 504km and raised $1450 by the end of March. Since then it has been boosted to $1550.''
Anyone wanting to donate can go onto The Hits - Ronald McDonald Fundraiser and tag Maddison O'Leary.