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Marian Crosses the Pain Barrier to Inspire Youth

Graeme Dingle Foundation – Profile on Marian Campbell’s Walk

Marian Crosses the Pain Barrier to Inspire Youth

Long-distance walker Marian Campbell is defying the pain barrier as she walks the length of New Zealand to inspire young people to find a pathway in life.

As a staunch supporter of the Graeme Dingle Foundation’s aims to help build self-esteem in youngsters, and also as a leader for the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme, Marian is walking the entire Te Araroa trail to send a message to youth and inspire others to expand their minds by discovering New Zealand’s unique outdoors.

However, she is having to show courage to overcome the physical challenges of walking the continuous 3,000km track from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

The retired High School teacher from Waipukurau started her journey in September from Cape Reinga and is now moving down the South Island. Ninety Mile beach was not kind to her and she damaged her feet considerably, which then resulted in a knee injury. She was unable to walk so was forced to take a break for four weeks.

Marian also copped a dinner-plate-sized bruise on her thigh but true to her ethic of taking every chance to raise funds for the benefit of young people, she is using the injury as a sponsorship opportunity.

She wrote on Facebook: “For those of you who are keen to sponsor the bruise - here is an updated picture. The bruise graced my presence on the 7 January 2020 - 6 days in and it appears it has invited friends to hang out due to the size it is now.

“'Sponsoring $1 per day for the life of the bruise will make a huge difference to a child's life through the generosity of the Graeme Dingle Foundation. I can’t tell you all enough how much your support means to me.”

Marian recently completed the stretch of Te Araroa through the Richmond Ranges and describes the terrain as “mountainous, making the tracks arduous almost every step. We walked up steep rocky tracks, down sides of cliffs, across narrow slippery scree slopes, clambered around rocky outcrops, jumped over huge boulders for half an hour, and trundled through dangerous water crossings …

“I was particularly slow downhill as I had fallen again on my bruised leg adding insult to injury. Thanks so much for all your wonderful comments and interest. It means so much to me as I do miss family and friends.”

Her daughter-in-law Haylee Wrenn contacted the Graeme Dingle Foundation to say how inspirational Marian is.

“When Marian was little she contracted hydatids, which made her chronically unwell. She was told that she would not be able to walk very far after she lost part of her lung due to this disease. She is on a personal journey to prove that it does not matter what challenges you have faced in the past, you can overcome them with the right mental spirit.

“This is why she has chosen to support the Graeme Dingle Foundation as their values and beliefs align nicely especially around the focus on children.

“Marian has huge determination as she is constantly thinking of her father – he was a prisoner of war and walked in the death march [a gruelling 100-day march across Poland in the winter, starving and freezing cold].

“Her message to me this morning was that she may not have the lung capacity she needs and injuries like her current bruise cause considerable pain however her father did not have food and had frost bite on his toes so if he could survive the death march then she can keep going as well.

“I would love to gain more publicity for Marian to ensure her goal of $10,000 is achieved for the Graeme Dingle Foundation ... So far she has raised $2,634.”

Marian’s Give A Little page is https://givealittle.co.nz/fundraiser/join-me-in-my-te-araroa-journey

Her Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/The-Great-Walk-Marian-Campbell-101782924561891

With the Graeme Dingle Foundation, Marian was a mentor and mentor-trainer for Project K – a positive youth development programme that targets Year 10 students (13 – 15-year olds) with untapped potential and low self-esteem, with the goal of improving their psychological, social and physical wellbeing.

The 14-month programme builds self-confidence, promotes health and education skills and helps students to set and achieve goals with the support of trained adult mentors. In some cases, the programme has saved lives.

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