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Big journey for ‘great cause’

FINISH LINE: Stu Stoddart (front) with friends finishing the Great North Walk at Queens Wharf on Tuesday. The group raised more than $30,000 for Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

WHEN Stu Stoddart’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, he knew he had to do something.

So the Newcastle man started walking, for the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse.

On Tuesday, he and and several mates wrapped up the Great North Walk, after taking off from Circular Quay on April 14.

The journey was about 250 kilometres, with stops along the way.

After “several mountains”, he said the crew felt “pretty buggered” as they arrived at Queens Wharf about 12.30pm.

“But it’s for a great cause,” Mr Stoddart said.

“We raised over $32,000 with a goal of $40,000. We’re doing pretty well …it’s so good to see.”

On his mother’s cancer diagnosis, he said “you never think it’s going to hit close to home”.

“And when it did I thought how can I best help,” he said. “[Chris O’Brien Lifehouse] have been so helpful treating mum. My friends have just rallied together and so has everyone else who’s supported us.

“It’s encouraging. Everyone jumped on board.”

The Great North Walk officially starts in Macquarie Place before heading intoHunters Hill and onto the Hornsby area.

The track crosses theKu-ring-gai Chase National Park before Brooklyn and the Hawkesbury River.

It then heads into the Watagans State Forest and southern Lake Macquarie before finishing at Queens Wharf.

Chris O’Brien Lifehouse opened in 2013 and is named afterrenowned cancer specialistChris O’Brien.

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