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Youngest Kiwi to walk the length of NZ

Media release – November 6, 2008

Stomach virus, blisters and toenails not stopping teenager’s attempt ready to set record as youngest Kiwi to walk the length of NZ – for Cystic Fibrosis

A stomach virus blisters and possibility of losing some toenails is not stopping Wellington teenager Emma Daken in her quest to become youngest Kiwis to walk the length of New Zealand.

Daken began her journey from Cape Reinga at the weekend, will spend tonight in Haruru Falls near Paihia and hopes to walk in Whangarei later tomorrow.

The Victoria University student is doing the 2200km 70 day walk to raise awareness and research funds for cystic fibrosis. She is scheduled to arrive in Bluff on January 9.

``I have walked about 170km so far and it has been fantastic. I’m resting up with a stomach virus today but I’m back on the road tomorrow. I am working through blisters and may lose some toenails but I’m fine really. I feel good and can’t wait to get to Whangarei tomorrow.’’

Daken has given up all her Victoria University holiday break so she can complete the arduous walk - which will be like walking a marathon most days.

``Fifty km is the most I have to walk in a day. I have a few shorter days, but I am definitely up for the challenge. I also have 'rest days' so if need be, I can make up ground on those days,’’ Daken said today.

``It was difficult to decrease the distance, as I have uni and other commitments to be back for, and the cost alone - so decreasing the distance, and extending the time on the road was not an option.’’

Jucy Rentals is sponsoring Daken to walk the length of New Zealand to help raise money towards research to find a cure for Cystic Fibrosis. Jucy chief executive Tim Alpe said they had no hesitation in offering Emma and her support crew a campa vehicle and a car for the whole 70 day journey.

Daken is in her second year of study at Victoria. Her inspiration for selecting the charity was based on her personal experience with the cystic fibrosis (CF) illness.

``A very close friend of mine suffers from this genetic condition, and through my friendship with her, I have been given first-hand experience of what it means to live with cystic fibrosis. My driver Paul) on the walk also has CF.’’

Emma will be visiting many of NZ's large and small towns on her walk and she hopes to get a lot of local support for her campaign.

She has created a fundraising page - so the public can follow her walk.


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