In addition to the voice Rare Cancers Australia hopes to give its community, these five navy divers are now taking the issue into their own hands and hoping to raise money for the charity by trekking Kokoda.
The track itself stands as an icon for Australian participation in
World War II, and since then it’s become something of a hallmark for
struggle as to complete the Kokoda Track takes immeasurable courage and
unwavering mental strength.
Sadly, theirs is a plight that had a tragic inception. The shocking reality and prevalence of rare cancers in Australia came and knocked on the door
of Navy diver and Chief Petty Officer, Cameron Schmid, who lost his
father, grandmother and grandfather to various forms of rare cancers.
Having lived through the experience, Schmid was determined to bring
awareness to these less common killers and will be doing just that by
taking on Kokoda Track alongside four of the fittest Navy Clearance
Divers who now return form duty in the Middle East.
With the boys embarking on the trek this Saturday August 10, we
managed to steal a moment with Chief Petty Officer Schmid between
training sessions, to find out more about their training, team
camaraderie, and why this is a cause that needs greater attention.
GQ: To begin, can you give us an insight into how the idea
of tackling the Kokoda Track to raise awareness for Rare Cancers
Australia first originated?
Chief Petty officer Cameron Schmid: I received a call from my
brother, who works for a company whose primary charity partner is Rare
Cancers Australia, and for whom he has done personal fundraising in the
past. He explained the mission of Rare Cancers Australia, and the
importance of the trek to their fundraising and how it contributes to
people living with rare and less common cancers.
He told me that he was sure that Rare Cancers Australia would be
interested if my team were available to participate and assist in
supporting the Foundation through this physical challenge.