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Walking on the path to recovery

LINDISFARNE local Marg Marshall is one of 2000 trekkers preparing for this year’s “Wild Women On Top Melbourne Coastrek” to raise vital funds for The Fred Hollows Foundation.

Now in its second year, the adventure challenge sees 500 teams of four trekkers, including at least two women per team, walking 30 kilometres, or 60 kilometres, along the picturesque Mornington Peninsula.

The event, which will be held on 18 November 2016, aims to raise $1.2 million for The Foundation to continue its fight to end avoidable blindness.

Ms Marshall is taking on the 30-kilometre challenge with Team Active Solutions after recovering from a condition that left her unable to walk.

“I had symphysis pubis dysfunction when pregnant with my daughter nine years ago, and after she was born I could no longer walk,” she said.

“On her second birthday I put away the crutches. Pilates and a sympathetic and encouraging personal trainer have led me here today.”

Despite her upward progress, Ms Marshall said it was a “constant battle” to stay fit.

“I have had two relapses where I ended up back on crutches,” she said.

“However, I have now been free of them for two years and I needed a fitness goal.

“Coastrek is perfect. My team tells me I am their inspiration.”

The Fred Hollows Foundation founding director Gabi Hollows said trekkers helped to raise vital awareness and funds to end avoidable blindness, which affected 32.4 million people worldwide.

“Four out of five people who are blind do not need to be, and everyone who takes on the Coastrek challenge is helping us to restore sight and change lives,” she said.

Wild Women on Top Coastrek founder and chief executive officer Di Westaway said the event was a way for women to come together for their own health and wellbeing while also changing the lives of others.

“Coastrek helps women feel awesome, about themselves and about helping others,” she said.

“It gives back confidence and makes them fit, strong and healthy.

“Studies show walking in nature reduces negative thoughts, anxiety, depression and blood pressure, improves immunity and memory, increases energy levels, burns calories and makes you happy.”

Since it began in Sydney in 2010, Coastrek has inspired more than 15,000 trekkers and raised more than $13 million for the foundation to restore sight for thousands of people who are needlessly blind.

To support Ms Marshall or to learn more about Melbourne Coastrek visit melbourne.coastrek.com.au.

Caption: Lindisfarne local Marg Marshall, at centre, is training for a 30-kilometre trek along Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula to raise funds for The Fred Hollows Foundation.