2650km walking mission to combat MS
MORE THAN one million steps down, Greg Chidgey and his cart of essentials have arrived in Roma, but he is still months away from his finish line - Cairns.
Since leaving Springwood in New South Wales on April 1, the 64-year-old has tracked approximately 1,024,020 steps, as part of his 2654km trek to raise awareness for multiple sclerosis.
In those five weeks he has covered 1089km, the equivalent to 25 Olympic distance marathons.
Mr Chidgey told Newscorp he was inspired to take on the mammoth journey after he saw one of his closest friends fall victim to the life-threatening condition,
"I was planning to walk to Melbourne, which is only about 760km and I thought... 'not enough'," Mr Chidgey said.
He is hoping to raise $50,000 before he reaches Cairns sometime in June.
"I have raised about $19,000 so far... I've met people in pubs who have given me the last five bucks they have just to show their support," he said.
"The kindness of everyone has really shown that the Australian spirit is still alive."
Since starting his trek, Mr Chidgey has dropped from 87kg to 61kg, and with his cart weighing six kilograms more than him when full of water, he is faced with a dilemma as he approaches his next leg.
"I need someone to help get my cart to me every night," he said.
"From Roma to Rockhampton it is too hilly. I can get the cart up the hills, but with no breaks on it, it's too dangerous to go down.
"I am wanting someone to help me by picking the cart up in the morning and delivering it to our agreed upon checkpoint each night."
Mr Chidgey said he had been overwhelmed by how many people had shown him support as he trudges along the open highways.
"Truck drivers have bought me water bottles, a man in St George paid for a night at the pub, a meal and beers," he said.
"When I came across some roadworks near Surat, I complimented the grader for the smoothest piece of dirt I've walked on so far.
"He then radioed the driver... and they bought me a coffee and a mandarin."
Since departing Springwood Mr Chidgey has had six casualties; five popped tyres and a reluctant wife.
"She wasn't too keen on me doing it but she knew it was for a good cause," he said.
Mr Chidgey is hoping to complete the remaining 1565km by June and then he'll "figure out how to get home".
The Club Hotel Motel, Roma have put Mr Chidgey up for the next two nights, while he prepares and restocks for his next leg.
Anyone who can help with transporting his cart is to call him on 0475 420 023 or feel free to buy the champion a beer.
- You can donate to Mr Chidgey's Do it for MS at www.doitforms.org.au/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.personalCampaign&participantID=4675
You can keep up to date with his journey at www.facebook.com/thechidge/