WHAT'S ON

Ripple of Kindness: Rebecca Miller from Parkes is running 350km to Westmead Children's Hospital

STRONGER TOGETHER: Best friends Marguerite Burns and Rebecca Miller shaved their heads together two years ago as Marguerite had treatment for breast cancer. Here they are pictured one-year on from the fundraiser. Photo: Facebook

STRONGER TOGETHER: Best friends Marguerite Burns and Rebecca Miller shaved their heads together two years ago as Marguerite had treatment for breast cancer. Here they are pictured one-year on from the fundraiser. Photo: Facebook

Parkes woman Rebecca Miller finally gets to set off on her journey to raise vital funds for charities close to her heart after two years in the planning.

After the Covid pandemic and now the recent floods put a spanner in the works for Rebecca, she has picked this Sunday, April 11 for her 350km run launch, from Parkes to Westmead Children's Hospital in Sydney.

That's the equivalent of running a marathon every day for eight days in a row.

Rebecca has named her fundraiser The Ripple of Kindness Project and she's raising funds for the Leukaemia Foundation, Bandaged Bear, Carrie's Beanies for Brain Cancer and Can Assist - all charities that assist children and families going through cancer.

She has a GoFundMe page where people can donate to support her plight to raise $100,000 to be split between the charities. You can also follow her journey on Facebook.

By Thursday afternoon she had already raised $24,325 before her journey had officially begun.

As of 10.15am on Saturday, it had risen to $27,570.

Rebecca said there were a couple of reasons why she started her Ripple of Kindness Project - she shaved her head two years ago in support of her close friend Marguerite Burns, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the time.

Together the friends raised about $25,000 for that cause.

The idea for The Ripple of Kindness also came about when another friend Jodie Wyburn lost her beautiful eight-year-old daughter Lilly to leukaemia in November 2017 - a disease that Lilly had battled for most of her life.

Lilly was heavily supported by the Leukaemia Foundation while she underwent treatment in Sydney for months on end.

From this devastating loss, Rebecca started researching leukaemia and found that along with brain cancer, both are the most prevalent childhood cancers in Australia and impact hundreds of children each year.

Her aim through this run is to raise vital funds to not only assist with the research and treatment of childhood cancers but to also help the families going through the most difficult time of their lives, where most are forced to leave their homes in regional and rural areas to receive lifesaving treatment in metropolitan hospitals such as the Westmead Children's Hospital.

The launch all kicks off Sunday at Northparkes Oval from 9am, where there will be a big celebration and a family fun day with jumping castles, face painting, and food and coffee vans.

Parkes people are also invited to run some laps around the oval with Rebecca.

On Monday and Tuesday Rebecca will head to Moulder Park Veledrome in Orange, will be in Bathurst at North Park Oval on Wednesday and Lithgow at Tony Luchetti Sportsground by Thursday.

On Friday and Saturday, April 16 and 17, she'll be in Katoomba at the Katoomba Falls Reserve and arriving at the Children's Hospital at Westmead about 11am on Sunday, April 18.

Rebecca has shown a great deal of grit and persistence to get this fundraiser off the ground, experiencing a number of obstacles and setbacks along the way, including a hip injury due to overtraining in 2019 which meant she had to rest for six months to heal.

Then when she'd planned the run for September 2020, she had to push it back again due to Covid.

And now, due to the latest flooding in areas on the way from Parkes to Sydney which has damaged roads, she has had to pivot her plans from running on the open roads to instead running in parks and on ovals along the way to create the 350km.

"It's going to be a big challenge emotionally, mentally and physically, but I'm fortunate to have the amazing support of family and friends who will be beside me the whole way," Rebecca said.

She is also appealing to the local communities in the towns she will be running in and through to come along and cheer her on, and donate to her fundraiser in the hope of significantly increasing the amount raised and to help her reach her target of $100K.

Parkes has already started fundraising through funfairs, pie drives, raffles and more.