Road to recovery
By EMMA CORNFORD
EACH step that army sergeant Scott Bradshaw has taken since leaving Brisbane on October 8 has been to raise money for his fiance Leanne's breast cancer treatment.
Yesterday, hundreds of kilometres later, he left the Clarence Valley as he continued Exercise Long Walk to Sydney.
Although Sgt Bradshaw has already raised the $53,000 he and Leanne need to buy the drugs which could save her life, he wants to raise money to help other families and heighten the awareness about the breast cancer 'wonder drug', Herceptin.
"We were told about Herceptin, which increases the chance of survival by 90 per cent and decreases the chance of relapse by 52 per cent, but it's only made available to you through the PBS (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) once you're in the late stage of cancer, so you've basically got no chance of survival anyway," he said.
"It's a terrible thing to be told the Government's only going to help you once your partner has no chance of surviving ... so we want to raise awareness about the issue and see if we can help other families who are in a similar position, sitting there without the means to get a drug which could save their partner's life."
When he found out about Herceptin, Sgt Bradshaw said he decided there was 'no chance' of not somehow finding $53,000.
"When we were told the cost of it everyone just rolled their eyes and said 'well, we can't
afford it'. I had the thought I could do this walk ... then I came home the next day to Leanne and said 'I'm going to get you that money that you need'," he said.
"My boss, Lieutenant Colonel Daryl Campbell, has been amazing through all of this. When I first mentioned the idea in the office I got a lot of rolled eyes but when I told him, the first thing he said was 'we'll make this happen' and I had his support right away.
"I don't think Leanne really believed I was going to do it. Even as a I left I think she thought I was going to walk around the block and come back, but now that I'm almost in Coffs Harbour I think it's starting to sink in."
As he treads beside the Pacific Highway, Sgt Bradshaw has a volunteer support crew of five including a cook, two drivers, a medic and a team leader. Sgt Bradshaw's physical journey will end on October 31.
To make a donation to Sgt Bradshaw's cause and find out about the couple's journey, visit www.leanne-bradshaw.com