A Te Awamutu woman walked nearly 200km during lockdown all in efforts to help the charity she works for stay afloat after taking a financial hit due to Covid-19.
Zoe Anderson works as a support co-ordinator for Leukemia and Blood Cancer New Zealand which is grappling with a 70 per cent loss of income with the pandemic bringing a halt to some of its major fundraising events
During lockdown, the charity organisation began running the Health Heroes Challenge – a virtual challenge inspired to get its staff and public members off their couches and out of their comfort zone's to help cancer patients.
Participants were encouraged to create their own fundraising idea that was bold enough to get their friends, families and communities to get alongside them by donating.
For Zoe's challenge, she chose to walk 7km at 7am each day during the four-week lockdown.
"After seven days, it was like walking from my house to the leukemia blood cancer office (in Hamilton) and walking to the support groups, and then the next week was like walking to Tauranga and then Taupo," says Zoe.
Zoe's challenge fundraised $1200 for the charity and so far the whole Health Heroes Challenge has raised $3889.
"I just couldn't believe it; I was like man Te Awamutu rules. I felt so supported doing this challenge," says Zoe.
Other challenges people have done include learning sign language, doing chin ups daily, rowing the distance to get to Hamilton on a rowing machine, knitting clothes for the charity's Monkey in my Chair initiative and climbing stairs to the distance of going up Mt Taranaki.
Because of Covid-19 the charity organisation had to change a lot with how they operate such as support groups moving online.
CEO of the charity, Peter Ferguson, says blood cancer patients and their families have faced extra stress and anxiety because of Covid-19.
"It's our top priority to continue to provide free and accessible support to all blood cancer patients and their families. We also don't want to take the foot off the accelerator in terms of research into finding a cure for all blood cancers – this life-saving work is important," says Peter.
The Health Heroes Challenge is still running so if people are feeling inspired to take part and raise money for the charity than they need to visit healthheroeschallenge.blackbaud-sites.com/ to sign up.