Julia Creek non-walker tops Aussie prostate cancer fundraiser by walking

Nicole Morris receives community backing to raise awareness for prostate cancer

Life & Style
Nicole Morris was a familiar sight on the streets of Julia Creek during September as she racked up the kilometres for prostate cancer research and support.

Nicole Morris was a familiar sight on the streets of Julia Creek during September as she racked up the kilometres for prostate cancer research and support.

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For someone who proclaims happily that she walks her dog by driving beside her, the sum of 128 kilometres beside Nicole Morris's name on The Long run webpage speaks volumes.

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For someone who proclaims happily that she walks her dog by driving beside her, the sum of 128 kilometres beside Nicole Morris's name on The Long run webpage speaks volumes.

Based at Julia Creek where she works as the community nurse, Ms Morris decided she would join hundreds of other Australians in September to walk 72km as part of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

"I did 72km and then some," she announced, saying that the support of the community had been all-important in "dragging her derriere" around the town.

Such was the thumbs-up from the community that her effort earned $33,893, putting her at the top of the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia's fundraiser tally board by a margin of $7750.

"It became very important to start looking after my own health, along with that of the community," Ms Morris said, explaining how she got involved, given that she had done zero walking before this.

"The Long Run coincided with a promotion at work," she said, adding that she wasn't motivated by any personal association with prostate cancer. "I'm passionate about people in the bush looking after their own health."

Despite being a "non-walker", Nicole Morris walked almost twice the prescribed amount to raise thousands of dollars for prostate cancer research, awareness and support.

Despite being a "non-walker", Nicole Morris walked almost twice the prescribed amount to raise thousands of dollars for prostate cancer research, awareness and support.

Describing it as a target-rich environment, she set about building awareness of her walks plus the ease with which men could have blood tests to get tested for prostate cancer with signs at roadhouse toilets and at the town's saleyards.

She also said she wanted to lead by example.

"The amount of support blew my mind," Ms Morris said.

"It wasn't because I was the community nurse but they saw I was having a go.

"If it gets people along to the doctor, that's good."

Among the supporters were the Wild Women Walking on Wednesday group, friends she encouraged to join her to keep her honest, and the Julia Creek Lions ladies, who raised $1100 from a raffle to donate to the cause.

Nicole's pet dog Daisy, so named because she liked to joke that she was driving Miss Daisy for her daily exercise.

Nicole's pet dog Daisy, so named because she liked to joke that she was driving Miss Daisy for her daily exercise.

All funds will go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia and will be used to directly support men diagnosed with prostate cancer, to create better awareness of diagnosis and treatment options, and to research ways to minimise the impact of prostate cancer on Australian men and their families.

Considering that someone's father, son or brother will hear the news he has prostate cancer every 25 minutes in Australia, it's a vital cause.

According to Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia CEO, Jeff Dunn AO, all were working towards one goal, to ensure Aussie blokes don't die before their time of prostate cancer.

"Without community donations, we simply wouldn't be able to walk alongside men when this bastard of a disease strikes," Professor Dunn said.

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