Melissa Lord

Cause: Crohn’s & Colitis Australia
Adventure: Crohn’s & Colitis Australia El Camino Trek
Fundraising Page:

As our Fundraiser of the Month, Mel has scored herself a $50 donation to her fundraising page. To be our next month’s winner, make sure you’re uploading your journey to social and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired.

What inspired you to take on your adventure challenge with CCA Australia?

I have suffered with Crohn’s Disease for the best part of my life. As a result, everyday life including big milestones, study, career and travel opportunities, have all been hugely impacted. I always wanted to travel, but never felt I could because I couldn’t go too far from home as I needed regular hospital visits for treatment. Since having surgery to create a permanent Ileostomy in 2009, thankfully, I’ve been the healthiest I’ve ever been. The adventure challenge with CCA is allowing me to tick a few things off my wish list. To raise awareness (I’ve started my own Facebook page to share my experiences and track my journey: Gutless and Wonderful) and significant funds for research, plus it’s giving me a chance to take on a personal challenge, which coincidently allows me to travel! It’s a win, win.

How are you feeling about the challenge ahead? Have you ever been to Spain before? Or done any similar treks?

I’m really excited, but also nervous. This will be a huge personal achievement as this will be my first time in Europe (solo or with family/friends) and my first attempt at a trek like this. I’ve done some fun runs in the past, but nothing over 10km. As a practice for the trek I will be taking part in the 30km event at the Gold Coast Run Festival on Sunday 10 December. It should test my legs!

What have been some of the highlights of your fundraising experience so far?

Definitely hosting my first event back in May 2017. It was a great night and a lot of fun. Also the networking. Speaking with people, organisations and businesses who’ve offered to donate money or prizes – it’s been amazing so far. I also skydived (my first ever!) on my 35th birthday as a way of raising awareness about my fundraising efforts and why I’m participating in the trek. I’ll never forget that!

"I'm lucky to have the amazing support of my husband and family so that I can do this. It's going to be great to complete this challenge with the CCA team"

What have been your biggest challenges in taking on an Inspired Adventure? How did you overcome this?

Initially making the commitment. I was hesitant early on about being able to make the fundraising targets, but after speaking with the team leaders at Inspired Adventures I felt more confident about being to reach it and my goal to complete the Trek. The team at Inspired have been a great help in providing ideas on how to fundraise, ways to approach sponsors and to put myself out there.

Have you noticed any changes or transformation in your life since signing up for the challenge?

For sure. I’m definitely more active, the training has been great for me and for my family. I’ve formed a team of my own ‘Team Gutless and Wonderful’ or #TeamGandW which include some close friends of mine, plus my husband, sister and Aunty who have joined me in a number of charity fun runs this year. They are also doing the GC 30km with me. Keep an eye out for us in our team shirts!

What are you most looking forward to about your upcoming challenge?

Doing something for myself and making my boys (aged 5 and 3) proud. This is not something I would ever have thought of doing before now, I’m lucky to have the amazing support of my husband and family so that I can do this. It’s going to be great to complete this challenge with the CCA team – I’m sure we’ll all be close friends by the end. I feel like it’s going to be a life changing experience and certainly a once life time opportunity for me.

What advice would you offer to other people looking to complete a challenge like this?

Just do it, don’t doubt yourself. Embrace the challenge and opportunity. I would have talked myself out of it if I didn’t have my family and friends giving me some much needed encouragement. So, surround yourself with a solid support network who is willing to help you reach your goals, and go chase them.

Fundraiser of the Month

Become our Fundraiser of the Month to win a $50 donation to your fundraising page!

Take a picture whilst fundraising for your adventure and use the hashtag #IveBeenInspired and your adventure hashtag. The most exciting use of the hashtag, with a fundraising focus will be our Fundraiser of the Month – it’s that easy!