For­mer Ori­gin legend does the hard yards to raise aware­ness

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

TREVOR Gillmeis­ter has al­ways been called tough as nails.

The for­mer State of Ori­gin rugby league hard­man has sum­moned a num­ber of cur­rent and for­mer rugby league stars to help spread aware­ness of as­bestos con­tam­i­na­tion by walk­ing from Townsville to Bris­bane.

Gillmeis­ter passed through Proser­pine on Tues­day – a brief pitstop on what he hopes is a jour­ney of more than 1400km. “We or­gan­ised this a while ago,” he said. “I lost my fa­ther to an as­bestos re­lated dis­ease five years ago.

“With many home ren­o­va­tion shows around at the mo­ment, peo­ple think they’re builders.

“Just make sure you know what you’re do­ing – your kids could be af­fected by it too.”

Gillmeis­ter lost his fa­ther to mesothe­lioma – a rare form of can­cer strongly linked with as­bestos ex­po­sure. He said support for the event had been great. “It’s more preva­lent than peo­ple think,” he said.

“The amount of peo­ple show­ing their support, pro­vid­ing places to stay and eat has been great – Ho­tel Metropole has been amaz­ing.

“We’ve had peo­ple stop us along the way and do­nate money say­ing their grand­par­ents have been af­fected by it.”

Gillmeis­ter has ral­lied the support of Al­lan Langer, Steve Wal­ters, Martin Lang, Brent Tate, Matt Scott and John Cartwright at var­i­ous points through­out his jour­ney.

He’s hop­ing to raise $100,000 for the As­bestos Re­lated Dis­ease Support So­ci­ety QLD – and is look­ing to reach Bris­bane by Mon­day, Oc­to­ber 27.

You can track him along the way or even do­nate at www.walk­foraware­ness.com.au.

LONG ROAD: Trevor Gillmeis­ter (sec­ond from the left) is con­tin­u­ing his jour­ney with the support of Don Booth, and Ai­den and San­dra Wil­liamson. All of them have lost a mem­ber of their fam­ily due to as­bestos re­lated ill­nesses.

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