On Last Leg of a Walk across Oz; 6500km Solo Effort Will Raise Funds to Fight Disease Affecting Central Nervous System

Article excerpt

Byline: RICHARD FORBES news@northernstar.com.au

WITH an entire continent in his wake, John Olsen strode into Lismore yesterday.

Mr Olsen, 57, of Geelong in Victoria, is walking across the nation without any kind of support team in a bid to raise $200,000 for the Australian Leukodystrophy Support Group and the Australian Lions Children's Mobility Foundation.

He left Australia's most westerly point, Steep Point in Western Australia, at 10am on June 18, bound for Australia's most easterly point, Cape Byron.

His only company on the open road has been his Wilson trailer, which carries all his daily needs such as food, cooking utensils and bedding.

Along the way, he has suffered foot infections,

has worn out eight trailer tyres and has used three pairs of joggers.

He has trudged sealed roads, dusty tracks and walked through quagmires. He's even experienced the dust of Great Victoria Desert and an electrical storm.

Mr Olsen's arrival in Lismore yesterday was eagerly anticipated by 11-year-old Aden Nock, of Alstonville, who suffers from leukodystrophy, a progressive degenerative brain disease.

Aden shared a few steps with Mr Olsen before the latter took a break outside Lismore City Hall.

He continues on his way today to Byron Bay where his sponsor, the Lions Club, has organised a beard shave and auction to assist his cause.

Mr Olsen said he enjoyed helping those less fortunate than himself - including his partner, Vida, who suffers from leukodystrophy. …