News PM Tony Abbott meets Save Our Sons in Canberra as PAYCE Manager completes Save Our Sons Trek
13 May 2015: PAYCE Project manager Michael Malak walked into a typically cold night in Canberra to the lights of Budget night.
Michael, eight kilos lighter, had lost count of the blisters he had on his feet but was feeling no pain after walking the 320 kilometres from Sydney to Canberra.
He had joined a group, Save Our Sons, walking to raise money and awareness for a rare disease – Duchenne Musculor Dystrophy.
“On arrival to Canberra, there was a special welcoming party,” Michael Malak noted.
Although busy with Budget night, Prime Minister Tony Abbott still managed to give time to Save Our Sons Founder Elie and his son, a DMD sufferer.
“Given it was such a busy night it was amazing that he gave time to meet Elie and provide support to the charity,” said Michael Malak.
DMD is a fatal condition that mostly affects boys. The disease causes aggressive muscle degeneration that leads to the inability to walk and eventually death.
Elie has already helped raise $3.5 million to fund clinical trials for a cure.
“This walk was such a humbling experience for me,” Michael said.
“It was a real triumph for all of us to make it the distance.”
The group set off on May 1 with father and founder of the charity Elie Eid leading the fundraising group.
He pushed his son in his wheelchair to Parliament House in Canberra where they arrived on May 12.
Several celebrities also joined the walked to assist in raising awareness, including former rugby league player and media identity Mark Geyer and hard rocker Angry Anderson.
“It was such a wonderful experience to be part of this group raising awareness about an incredibility debilitating disease,” Michael said.
“I am really grateful to PAYCE and Managing Director Brian Boyd for giving me the opportunity to participate in the walk.”
The group set off in pouring rain in Sydney and arrived just in time for the Budget at Parliament House.
The crew walked up to 30 kilometres per day.
“We had some very long and wet days in the beginning, but as we got down the highway I got into a routine,” he said.
“We decided most days just to take a short stop at lunchtime and finished walking around 3pm.”
“I can tell you I have never been so happy to see Canberra on a cold winter’s night,” he said.
The Save Our Sons group will provide information to parliamentarians on the clinical trials to date while in Canberra.