Pyrenees hike in aid of a rare skin disease
SARAH Harvey will combine her love of hiking with a worthy cause when she walks through the Pyrenees in June.
The former Queensland Times photographer will raise funds on her walk to help sufferers of Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) and their families.
EB is a rare and potentially fatal disease where the skin blisters and peels at the slightest touch.
Ms Harvey, who has hiked in some of the world's most stunning mountain ranges since leaving the QT in 2014, has been inspired to raise funds for the rare disease because of the courage of a friend in Brazil whose nine-year-old daughter is a sufferer.
All funds raised will go to Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association (DEBRA) Australia, a not for profit volunteer based organisation that does not receive any direct government funding and works tirelessly to support those living with EB.
" Living with EB has been likened to living with third degree burns and sufferers go through painful dressing changes every second day that can take up to five hours," Ms Harvey said.
"I have chosen to support DEBRA because one of my friends has a child with EB.
"Through all of her pain, my friend's daughter is such a happy little kid who consistently shows so much strength and courage.
"She can't do activities like I do, but through my journey, I hope that she, and every other EB sufferer, see that they are not forgotten.
"Since EB is a rare condition (with 1000 people suffering in Australia), it is relatively unknown, so I hope to build awareness as well as raise money to help families."
"I am doing around 850 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea going the whole length of the Pyrenees," Ms Harvey said.
"I have not been to Europe. The furthest north I have been is Everest.
"But I have chosen this walk because I love mountains and high altitudes and it is going to go through the Pyrenees mountains, which are quite famous for being very beautiful.
"For a lot of the walk I will be above 2000m."
Ms Harvey has hiked in places such as Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Chile in South America, and through New Zealand and Nepal.
"My favourite would definitely be Nepal," she said.
"It is incredibly beautiful and surreal. Every day is a different postcard."
Ms Harvey is funding all her expenses herself on the hike through France and Spain, which starts in early June, with all funds going to DEBRA Australia.
Those who wish to donate to DEBRA can do so by logging on to Ms Harvey's everyday hero site and to keep up with what she is doing on the hike there is a dedicated Facebook page. Both are listed below: