Jay’s Melanoma Mission Walk concluded on Sunday, 4 December, at Government House in Sydney and so far has sensationally raised $181,992 in reach of their $250,000 target – with time still remaining to donate.

The 6 full-time 10-day walkers are Jay Allen, Greg Bond, Ashleigh Piek, Michelle Kitcheman, Kaylah Brown and Emma Page. 

“Sadly, we have all been affected by melanoma, but this will not stop us walking,” Jay said.

“We have crossed the finish line 8am this morning of our 333km, 10-day Canberra to Sydney melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer walk.”

Jay’s Melanoma Mission Walk crew gathered at the Rollonin Café in Bowning on Thursday 24 November, prior to starting their walk from Parliament House in Canberra the day after.

Renata Ryan, owner of the Rollonin Café at Bowning, is proud to support the cause. Tony, Renata’s late husband, built the Rollonin Café while he was undergoing treatment however he eventually passed away from melanoma.

“Richard and Kim and cousin Leanne are walking next Wednesday (Day 6) from Gerringong to Kiama and meeting up with my granddaughter Nikiya Love at Illawarra Toyota,” Renata said.

“She helps Jay with the marketing and at present is going through Leukaemia herself. They are all from Bowning.”

The Times spoke to Greg Bong while they were at the Rollonin Café prior to the walk, sharing his incredible story.

Greg Bond from Penrith lost his sister-in-law, Andrea, to melanoma.

“He’s a legend. He’s raised over $7,000 for the cause and brought in food vouchers. He’s probably done about $15,000 including food vouchers. He’s a good bloke and he’s walking for a lot of reasons,” Jay spoke glowingly of Greg. 

“I’ve be involved for about five years, I’ve done a couple of walks with Jay. My sister-in-law was 42 and she got melanoma cancer and died three years ago, she had four kids,” Greg said.

“She’s just a lovely lady. I walk for her and the kids every year to raise money and awareness so people don’t go through what they’ve gone through as a family. We’re trying to get a cure for this disease or get some sort of funding to help other people out.

“Since I started, I’ve met other people along the way. They’ve lost kids and I feel it’s so hard to lose a kid. I walk for them as well, not just for my family. There are terrible stories like that which pull at your heartstrings, and you get out there and see what you can do for people.

“I met Jay by coincidence. When my sister-in-law was in hospital, there was a professor Georgina Long who was treating her and Jay was there speaking to people in the hospital. 

“I got talking to him and we had a bit in common, footy days and that sort of thing. He said he was going to do a walk and I said I was in. 

“She was still alive then but after she passed away I got involved with Jay. I’ve done about three walks with him now. It’s exciting but I just hope I can help other families.” 

If you would too like to donate money to Jay’s Mission Melanoma Walk, visit https://www.mycause.com.au/events/jaysmissionmelanomawalk.

Tim Warren