News

Cancer survivor set to live up to her trekking promise

ON A MISSION: Connie McKee stands next to young Alex Bartetzko at her high tea fundraiser. INSET: Scenes from the high tea, which raised about $4500.
ON A MISSION: Connie McKee stands next to young Alex Bartetzko at her high tea fundraiser. INSET: Scenes from the high tea, which raised about $4500. Inga Williams

CONNIE McKee made a promise to herself on the one year anniversary of being diagnosed with breast cancer.

It's a promise that will take her all the way to Spain's infamous El Camino trail next year in a challenge to fundraise $10,000 for the Breast Cancer Network of Australia.

Connie is one of 26 Australian women who will take part in the trek in May next year. She is taking it on after a personal pledge to accept the challenge if her one-year tests in October came back all clear.

After three surgeries and seven weeks of radiation, Connie got the result so many women and their families hope for each year.

She is now preparing for the physical and financial challenge she has set herself.

Each participant of the trek has pledged to fundraise for services such as care kits given to women who are newly diagnosed and support for women with secondary cancer.

Connie credits the My Journey and My Care kits, given to women by the Breast Cancer Network, for coping with her own diagnosis easier.

The My Care Kit includes a specially-designed bra for women post surgery and the My Journey Kit offers advice and ways to keep track of appointments and expenses.

"Those two kits were the most helpful," she said.

The financial challenge is already more than half conquered after a trio of fundraising events that gained support from across Ipswich.

Connie hosted a high tea auction last month that raised an estimated $4500 on the back of raffle and auction items donated by local businesses and featured a fashion parade by Saba's on Grange.

She had already raised about $1000 and hopes to bust through her $10,000 goal with another event in March.

The next step now is train for the trek itself. Connie and her fellow participants will take on the last 100km section of El Camino, also known as Camino De Santiago, covering more than 20km a day.

"I'm looking forward to the physical challenge," she said.

Exercise is one way to manage the effects of medication Connie must remain on for the next five years.

She said her own diagnosis had shown her just how many women in Australia are affected by breast cancer.

"It's something that I thought would never happen to me," she said.

El Camino:

Known in English as the Way of St. James, El Camino is a UNESCO World Heritage site that has been a pilgrimage route since the Middle Ages.

Christian pilgrims would walk for weeks or months on a journey to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

Hundreds of thousands of people continue to replicate parts of the pilgrimage each year on a trail that stretches across northern Spain.

Topics:  breast cancer, cancer survivor, ipswich, trekking



NRL, QRL and IRL in the spotlight tonight

Manager of Rugby League in Ipswich, Brendon Lindsay (right) is the guest panellist on tonight's the After the 80.

Panel discuss the latest rugby league news

Father's Day: Your photos and tributes

My daughter and her dad, the greatest at making her giggle.

Thank you to all our readers who shared a photo of their dad

Miracle 'rainbow' baby's nightmare start to life

RAY OF SUNSHINE: Baby Aaliyah Jade Burnie with parents Natasha Heilbronn and David Burnie.

Aaliyah's battle against the odds after mum's pregnancy problems

Local Partners

Love is in the air on The Bachelor, but not for Kiki

The Bachelor Australia contestant Kirralee 'Kiki' Morris.

BACHELORETTE bows out gracefully as show enters its final weeks.

A $65,000 bathroom? The Block's incredible budget blow-outs

The Block contestants Julia and Sasha spent a whopping $65,000 on their first renovated room.

TEAMS deliver most expensive en-suites in reno show's history.

Your guide to a great night out in Ipswich

Electronic duo Nocturnal Tapes, Lachie Mulligan on electronics and Harry Suttor on guitar and vocals, at their 2015 Dolphin Awards ceremony in Ballina.

Five-day gig guide to the best entertainment in Ipswich

Gympie Muster couch dumps down, but still a problem

TIPPING POINT: After an appalling year of couches being dumped at the end of the last Muster, festival organisers have taken litterbugs to task

EFFORTS to combat post-Muster couch dumping are proving effective

Cryptic crosswords: Top clues to solving them

Your guide to solving the cryptic crosswords in your local paper

How high? Twin 20-storey high-rises plan for "over 50s"

A development application has been lodged with the Fraser Coast Regional Council to build two skyscrapers in Hervey Bay.

Developer says Bay needs to move with the times.

City View Hotel: From a pub to a backpackers

NEW LIFE: Hamish Parker has purchsed the City View Hotel and wants to turn it into an accomodation venue.

Architect picks up a little piece of history for a steal

Pub's run-in with law

OLD LOOK: The City View Hotel in 1914.

Prohibition was an issue Ipswich's police officers took seriously

Selling City View was tough call

Former City View Hotel part-owner Wayne Patch.

Over the years there have been numerous proposals for the building

Bunnings starts demolition of historic foundry buildings

SAWTOOTH GONE: Demolition of Foundry sawtooth shed to make way for new Bunnings building.

Lane and footpath closures will take place

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates