Meet the Larapinta Ladies

02 Jun 2021

These four inspiring ladies, Charlotte & Philippa Goninan, Kym Shaw and Lani Morrison are taking on the challenge of our Hike for Hope trek on the Larapinta trail next week.

"To try and comprehend dementia in children is unfathomable, so needless to say when this adventure popped up to support Sanfilippo, my mum (Philippa), cousin (Lani), close family friend (Kym) and I were in! We have dubbed ourselves the Larapinta Ladies." - Charlotte

Read all about the inspirations and preparation of our Larapinta Ladies below.

What inspired you to fundraise for the Sanfilippo cause?

When I learned of Sanfilippo I was shocked that it even existed. I had never heard of any form of childhood dementia before. Those two words: childhood and dementia, should never go together. My family, like so many, have been effected by dementia in our parents or grandparents, and those journeys are hard enough. It try and comprehend the same disease in children is unfathomable, so needless to say when this adventure popped up to support Sanfilippo, my mum (Philippa), cousin (Lani), close family friend (Kym) and I were in! We have dubbed ourselves the Larapinta Ladies.

Have you done a challenge like this before?

Never a charity walk but I have done several day hikes before. Whenever I do one, I always finish and think “I should do this more often.” My mum is a big hiker and just finished a 5 days hike along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, has hiked in Alaska, Glacier National Park in Montana, Macchu Pichu, 3 Capes in Tasmania, Scenic Rim in Queensland and more….Her and I did the Grand Traverse in NZ together and it’s unintentionally become our mother-daughter thing to do. Needless to say, she is far more of a seasoned hiker than I am! Kym is an avid walker and Lani hiked through the Himalayas in 2019.

What inspires you?

Contribution – giving our time and energy to something and someone to make a difference in their lives. Helping others makes lives happier and a little easier. We are in fortunate positions to be able to apply our time, money and skills outside of ourselves to hopefully better lives of those in need and that in itself is so fulfilling.

Community – watching the amazing people we are surrounded by face the hard things head on. Whether they’re living through tough circumstances or are spearheading organisations that tackle the tough things, like childhood dementia, we admire them all the same. They all give us the energy and inspiration to keep going and contribute wherever we can.

Hiking – we all feel inspired by the energy and freedom of Mother Nature. Exploring, taking in fresh air and being lucky enough to do so. Ask on day 3 of the Larapinta Trail though and this answer might have changed!

Join both of these things together and it is a 10/10 combo!

What do you want the wider community to understand about Sanfiilppo?

That it is real. Any form of childhood dementia should be talked about and the point made that it kills more children every year than childhood cancer. It is statistically the second largest killer of children in Australia every year! It does exist and the hardship and heartache it causes families is devastating.

Tell us about why you decided to do this event?

It is a great excuse to explore a part of the country I have never been to before while raising necessary awareness of Sanfilippo Syndrome and meeting new people. Win win!

What are you looking forward to most about Event/what are you looking forward to the least?

My team and I are most excited about exploring the Larapinta trail and surrounding areas. We are definitely least excited about digging our own holes to go to the toilet in and not being able to shower! It is all part of the adventure though.

Tell us about the training you have had to do?

Our training has varied from a 5-day hike to barely anything…As mentioned mum just finished the Great Ocean Road hike last week, Kym has been doing training hikes multiple times a week, I gym and pilates a lot and Lani, well I am not sure but she is young! I do local walks but never for great lengths or hours on end but I have faith my legs are strong enough to carry me. Hopefully I won’t eat my words once we are out there.