For Kerry Thomas, taking on the MND NSW Three Peaks challenge in November is a chance to step outside of her comfort zone, spend time with her sister, and raise awareness and much-needed funds for people living with MND.

She has signed up for the adventure with her sister Nicole, and together they will trek some of the most iconic mountains in Australia.

Kerry is a carer for her husband Mark, who lives with MND, so the challenge was one that encouraged her to work on her own health and fitness for a cause close to her heart.

"One of the reasons I'm taking part is for fitness! But not from the trip, from the training I need to do to get there. It's a key driver because, as a carer, I've put my physical health on the back burner and I want to be deliberate in focussing on it," she said.

"My training plan (with oversight from some experts and my chiropractor) is key to setting me up for success over the next 5.5 months, and on trek day. I wanted to do something I'd not done before, and also something that shows my support for my husband Mark, who was diagnosed with MND 12 months ago. It does help that I do love a challenge."

"Outside of that, the primary reason I signed up is to do what I can to raise awareness (and funds!) of what MND is, who MND NSW is and what they do to support people living with MND and their families. Fundraising for the trek has put our family story out there, as our friends and family have shared our fundraising page with their networks."

Some of the things she is most excited about are the people she will be spending time with, and the stunning scenery.

"I'm really looking forward to spending time with my sister who is joining me on the challenge, and meeting other carers," Kerry said.

"I can't wait to see that part of Australia, and whilst I have no doubt for many of us it will be both a physical and emotional challenge, getting to the top of Mt Kosciuszko has been something I've always wanted to do."

A key part of the challenge preparations is meeting the fundraising target, but with support from family and friends she's well on her way to meeting her goals.

"It takes a village - because for me, my friends and family have been better at getting the word out there than I have! Just like we can't cure MND alone, you can't fundraise alone either. If people want to help you, great! And remember - donations over $2 are generally tax deductible, so June is a great month to ask your networks if they are willing to donate and support MND NSW."

Kerry hopes others will join them on the challenge, and said "The only way we're going to beat the beast that is MND is together".

"Chances are you know someone whose family has been impacted by MND in some way. With no cure, no significantly effective treatment (to slow, delay or reverse symptoms), and for around 90% of cases no known cause, it is going to take all of us to find a cure," Kerry said.

"MND is a rare disease, and for many people, they don't really know a lot about it until someone they love is diagnosed with it. The progression of the disease is not the same for everyone. Navigating your diagnosis, working out what Government support is available (and how to access it), and knowing where to find reliable information is difficult. The provision of this support, in addition to practical support (like FlexEquip), and a space for both people living with MND and their carers (including young people) to catch up with others with the same diagnosis are vital components of the support MND NSW provide."

"Finally, if you want to challenge yourself to be "Three Peaks fit", meet some new and interesting people, and raise money to support people living with MND - who can't take on the Three Peaks Challenge themselves, then you should come join us!"

We have just a couple of spots left for our Three Peaks Challenge in November, so if you'd like to join Kerry and our other adventurers, visit our Challenge Page here ASAP!

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