Walking for Zoe

By Nathan Evans

There is no greater tragedy than to bury a child. After losing his 11-year-old daughter Zoe to Cystic Fibrosis in 1994, Brisbane's Nigel Reed knows this better than most.

But his determination to give meaning to his family's tragic loss saw him walk from England to Australia in 1995 in a promise to his late daughter in her final hour that is now helping terminally ill children and bereaved parents.

"It was during the first leg in England that I visited a children's hospital and I was very aware that there was nothing like it in Brisbane and by the time I got back the following year with the help of friends we founded Zoe's Place, now it's no longer a dream, it's a reality, though not a fully completed reality," he said.

Nigel, who had previously walked for charity set off on a 10-month trek from England to Australia, ultimately raising sufficient funds to establish Zoe's Place ? a non-profit organisation giving the parents of terminally ill children some respite, while bringing joy to the kids and supporting those parents who've experienced the heart-wrenching task of burying a child.

More than a decade later, the former Briton has again donned the walking shoes for a month-long trek from Port Douglas to Brisbane. He stopped in Noosa last Thursday where he was joined by local store representative Jef Overland.

Walking with Zoe's Place project co-ordinator Tony Hutchins, Nigel will arrive in Brisbane on June 3 to raise $100,000 in sponsorship from Athletes Foot, to help complete the Zoe's Place vision.


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