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30for30 participants share: why we took up the challenge

World Vision
31 January 2015 by Laura Tay
30for30 participants share: why we took up the challenge

In January, hundreds of Australians took part in the 30for30 Fitness Challenge, raising funds to help more children survive their first 30 days of life. Four participants share why they took up the challenge!

Melinda 3Melinda McDonald
The 30 for 30 challenge combines three things I’m passionate about – fitness, children’s health, and World Vision’s work – so it was the perfect fit for me!
I have four gorgeous sons, and when our Luke was born prematurely, we received great care from our local hospital in Tamworth, and were even flown to Newcastle for further care when it was necessary. Luke was born six weeks early but was healthy and home by the end of the third week. In recent times, Luke has again had some health struggles, and was diagnosed with epilepsy last year.

We have been so well supported, and so grateful that we live in Australia, and are privileged to receive the care we need. It is inconceivable that in this day and age, 3 million babies still die each year, and so often of preventable causes. I believe World Vision’s work can make a difference.
I asked my friends for inspiration for the challenge, and they did not let me down! My challenge is to run and/or ride 300km, and complete 300 chin ups, in 30 days. As of day 20 and I had run more than 100km, cycled more than 90km, and completed 120 chin ups. I’m feeling strong and excited!

20141031_081055[1]Sarah Reardon
The opportunity to visit third-world and poverty locked communities has challenged me to contribute more than my regular sponsorship. And I am thankful that my grandson was able to access such excellent medical care in his first hour and days of life – without which he would not have made it. It is this that I hope can be made available for many more young lives.

When I saw the email with the video clip from Tim Costello for some reason I just clicked it open and watched it. It immediately opened up an opportunity for me to outwork the decision that I had already made.

I normally trek/hike in Nepal but for this I wanted to do something that was a bit of a new challenge for me. I chose to swim 1km a day in the surf because I just moved into a new home opposite the beach. I think that to swim 1km for 30 days is something that I would have given up on if it wasn’t connected to the challenge.

I have been really encouraged by my husband, and also by my church friends. But it is always great to see a sponsorship pop up on the web page from someone that you don’t see every day. Those are the unexpected gifts.

heatherHeather Park
My challenge was to complete a three hundred kilometre triathlon (3 sports – running/walking, swimming and cycling) by 30 January 2015. Those that know me know how ambitious this was.

I did the challenge for three reasons:
1. I have sponsored over 20 World Vision children and based on my years of contributing to their lives – I believe in the work World Vision do and have witnessed the difference they make – nothing is as special as receiving your child’s graduation photo.
2. My god daughter nearly didn’t survive her first 30 days as she was born premature. She was lucky to be born in Australia. I wish to honour her and show how proud I am on her completing Year 12 in the top 7% of students.
3. I too am lucky to be alive thanks to modern medical advances and an artificial mitral valve. I was lucky to be born in Australia and continue to be blessed each day. Time to put the new ticker to good use and aim for an ambitious challenge for such a good cause.

IMG_2790Emalynne So
My first born daughter, Annabelle who was stillborn at 31 weeks inspired me to take up the 30for30 Challenge. Knowing the heartache of losing a child, I wanted to help other mothers. I didn’t want them to go through the same heartache just because they didn’t have access to basic healthcare.
For the challenge, my daughter Jema and I are walking 30 mins for each of the 30 days and trying to do that in a different location or at least a different route each time.

Sharing our walks via social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!) has given us support from my family and friends. Their words of encouragement, donations (of course!) and even wanting to come along on the walks, has helped ensure we do these walks each day!

It’s great to think we are making a difference to these babies and mothers lives by raising needed funds.

Although Jema is too young to understand any of this right now, I hope when I speak to her about it in years to come that she can see you can make a difference in the world.

It’s also meant starting a new fitness regime for me that I hope to continue. I almost feel guilty that I have been able to gain something from all of this too!

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the 30for30 Challenge – you helped to raise more than $120,000 to improve maternal and child health!

Laura Tay Laura Tay

Laura is a Writer for World Vision Australia.


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