SARAH Harvey has just completed a 1300km hike across New Zealand’s South Island.
But while the globe-trotter has also trekked South America and Asia, she said her efforts were a walk in the park compared to the struggles faced by those with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).
Now the Veresdale woman is on track to help out – she will use her upcoming 800km trek across the Pyrenees mountain range in June to raise dollars and awareness for the condition.
About $670 towards Ms Harvey’s $5000 target has been raised so far through her everydayhero profile page.
The money will be donated to the Debra organisation, which supports those with the EB and contributes money for research.
Ms Harvey said there were many people who did not know about the rare connective tissue disease which caused skin to welt into painful blisters at the slightest touch.
About 500,000 people are afflicted worldwide.
Ms Harvey said babies and youth with EB were known as “butterfly children” as their skin’s fragility was comparable to the insect’s delicate wings.
But the intrepid explore has been inspired by their courage – Ms Harvey said she learnt about the condition after she found out her friend’s daughter was diagnosed.
“She is such a happy little kid and it is upsetting to watch someone you care about go through so much pain every day,” Ms Harvey said.
“Many people have never heard of EB and I wanted to help get the word out.”
Ms Harvey, who is a former Beaudesert State High School graduate, has now only months to prepare for the Pyrenees journey.
But the 34-year-old said the trip’s challenges would be similar to those she had already experienced.
She said the trek would not only offer an escape, but also a chance to reconnect with the natural environment and contemplate life.
“When you are by yourself and in the mountains, especially in Nepal, it is so surreal,” Ms Harvey said.
“You are in the middle of nowhere and you feel the power of nature.”
The experienced hiker has shared her top tips for those interested in walking the world’s most stunning scenery.
She said hikers should prepare before their trip and pack tasty treats, including chocolate and peanut butter, to power them through drizzly days.