ROAD TO RECOVERY
Steven Lee knows Toowoomba’s roads like the back of his hand and the reason why is astounding. Walking more the 180km week, the dad is fighting disease
FIVE years ago Steven Lee was living what he called a ‘’wayward life.”
He was drinking too much and eating all the wrong food, he was overweight and rarely exercised.
Those poor choices aggravated a decades-old injury sustained in a car crash and led to kidney failure.
It was a life-sentence that is served three days a week when he plugs in for dialysis at the B. Braun Toowoomba Renal Care Centre at St Andrew’s Hospital.
Mr Lee said his early dialysis sessions left him feeling dizzy.
“I didn’t like that so I went for a walk,” he said.
Those walks started small, at first around his home and then to the park.
Each day he would walk just that little bit further – around the block then from his home to Clifford Gardens.
It wasn’t long before Mr Lee was walking across Toowoomba three times a week, from Rockville to the University of Southern Queensland.
Now this routine takes him from Toowoomba to Oakey, three times a week and covering a distance of about 60km.
If he is feeling adventurous Mr Lee will take the scenic route, swinging by Charlton on his way to Oakey.
It is a routine that has made the Indigenous man a fixture on our roads.
“People like to stop and have a chat,” he said.
“I tell them I am walking to Oakey and they offer a lift but I tell them that would be cheating.”
Mr Lee has shed about 35kg and improved his fitness and blood-circulation, which has made his nurses at the renal clinic very happy.
“They all know what I do, one told me about the Strava app and now I track my walks,” he said.
The walks have helped him reconnect with country and draw on nature’s healing power.
He may walk alone but he is supported by flocks of small birds, the rattle of insects and the sun’s warm embrace.
“I like to pray and think about things,” Mr Lee said.
While the walks have vastly improved his physical and mental health, Mr Lee is keen to get some recognition for his efforts.
He has made repeated calls to the Guinness World Record organisers as he is certain he would hold the record for the longest walk for someone on dialysis.
“They don’t believe someone on dialysis can walk 100km in a day, but I can,” Mr Lee said.
“I didn’t like that so I went for a walk