Bill van Nierop has 53 percent lung capacity, but he is not letting that slow him down. After being diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) 3 years ago, Bill is determined to raise awareness of the disease by kayaking 2200km in 42 days. Bill started in Albury, NSW and has his sights set on the Murray River mouth in South Australia. This itinerary will see him travel through more than 20 regional communities on the way with the aim of raising $100,000 along the way.
The Long Kayak For Lungs is not Bill’s first fundraising effort either: last year Bill completed The Long Walk For Lungs, a 15-day, 697km walk through central-western New South Wales which raised $100,000. The money that was raised last year was used to support the Lung Foundation in a variety of ways such as establishing a scholarship and funding for patient support groups across Australia. IPF is life-limiting disease that causes irreversible scarring of the tissues deep in the lungs. Surprisingly and sadly, there is no cure and the cause is unknown.
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Agworld Account Manager Graham Morgan will join Bill on 6 days of his journey through South Australia and Agworld is also one of Bill’s sponsors. Graham Morgan: “I have known Bill for a long time, through his work at Ag n Vet among other things, and look forward to helping Bill raise money for IPF. IPF is not a well-known disease but at least 1,500 Australians are diagnosed with it each year and many lung research projects get virtually no funding at all. I am convinced that if we all get behind Bill, we can help him make a real difference.”
We at Agworld are proud to sponsor Bill on this journey and we hope that you will join us in doing so. You can find more information on The Long Kayak For Lungs website where you are also able to help out with a donation. To follow Bill’s day-to-day ‘Captains Log’ with updates, head to his Facebook Page. Bill is currently at Boundary Bend and still has a lot of kilometers ahead of him: any support will be very welcome for Bill, Graham and everyone else that will join them along the way!