Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand’s Business Manager Annabel Lush recently accompanied an inspiring group of LBC supporters on the adventure of a lifetime in Spain. As part of the challenge, Annabel had the unique opportunity to trek the El Camino alongside a group of passionate people just like her, driven by the desire to support patients and their families living with blood cancer.

We spoke with Annabel about charity challenge fundraising, and also on what it was like to trek one of the world’s oldest pilgrim routes.

Can you tell us about your organisation and mission?

Leukaemia & Blood Cancer New Zealand (LBC) is the only national not for profit organisation in New Zealand dedicated to supporting patients and families living with a blood cancer diagnosis (leukaemia, lymphoma, myeloma) and serious blood conditions.

Our mission is to care and our vision is to cure.

You recently travelled to Spain to trek the El Camino trail. What were some of your personal highlights?

Wow – too many to mention. This had been on my bucket list for many years and I never thought that I would actually do it. It was a dream come true and I loved every minute, from meeting the group in Madrid right through to the last dinner with the group in Santiago de Compostela. Every day was completely different and a feast for the senses.

What was the most challenging part of the adventure?

I wouldn’t say that any part was challenging. The walking was surprisingly comfortable – I know I was fit but I hadn’t walked these distances day after day so I didn’t know what to expect. The scenery was spectacular, the weather perfect, the villages adorable, the pensiones (accommodation) very clean and typically European, the food tasty, a little adventurous at times (pig’s ear anyone!!), the hospitality warm and the arrival into the Cathedral Square just breathtaking.

How has the fundraising from your Charity Challenge program made a difference to Leukaemia and Blood Cancer’s mission to reach more people experiencing blood cancer?

LBC receives no government funding and requires significant revenue to support our work nationwide so all fundraising is extremely valuable and appreciated.

The funds raised through our El Camino adventure will be used to support our Support Services Coordinators working throughout New Zealand to make a positive difference to the lives of those battling a blood cancer or related blood condition.

Feeling Inspired?

If you’re looking to take on an inspiring challenge, check out the upcoming adventures on our calendar!