Cancer survivor and fundraising marathon walker, Jennifer Rooks has raised over $10,000 for Do It For Cancer this year! She did this by walking over 1,000 kms over eight weeks trekking through the stunning scenery of the Italian countryside.
Walking solo, Jennifer began her adventure at the Grand Saint Bernard Pass and finished at St Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Over the last six years she has also completed annual fundraising walks across Ireland, UK, France, Portugal, Spain and Australia while raising funds for Cancer Council Queensland to help support others affected by cancer.
‘Everyone has been touched by Cancer. I have lost two brothers to cancer and have another brother and myself who have also battled the disease’, said Jennifer.
In 2019, Jennifer had been looking after her husband following prostate surgery when she developed a cold and chesty cough which wasn’t clearing. A series of tests confirmed a thyroid cancer diagnosis, and she was booked in for surgery straight away.
‘Apart from a cold, I wasn’t sick and had no indication something was wrong. Thankfully, the doctors said that because it was detected early, I required no chemo or radiation. I now just live with medication and have regular blood tests. I have been one of the lucky people and already I am looking at life with a new set of glasses,’ she said.
‘Walking is good for the heart, health, mind and the soul. I will turn 68 years while walking in Italy, solo and carrying a backpack. My aim is to remain active in body and mind and keep walking as far and as long as possible.’
For my 70th birthday in 2024 I am considering walking the John Muir Way across Scotland and reverse across the UK on Hadrian’s Wall.
When Jennifer returns home, she will be publishing a book again about her adventures and donating a percentage from the book sales to her Do It For Cancer fundraising page.
When she isn’t trekking around the world fundraising, Jennifer lives in Ipswich with her family and is always busy volunteering, fundraising and helping others. She also spends a large amount of time on the Atherton Tablelands with her son and grandchildren.
‘My aim is to continue to walk, to continue publishing the walking diaries and to continue suggesting that people walk and talk about the walks they do. There is nothing better than being out in the fresh air either solo or with a friend.’
‘I have raised the money for Cancer Council Queensland with the help of many families and friends and people I have never met but now have a connection with them.’
P.S. Want to share your Do It For Cancer story with us and inspire others to get involved? Fill out the ‘Share your story’ form on our website.