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Two life changing journeys has Madeline stepping forward in different directions

Madeline Sharpley is ready to set off on two journeys  of a lifetime – leading an attention grabbing trek through New Zealand’s spectacular Milford Sound and then walking down the aisle to marry the love of her life.

In between work, wedding planning and gown fittings Madeline has tied the laces on hiking books and trained for the three-day trek, designed to draw attention to the problem of arthritis and raise funds for Arthritis South Australia.

She has talked six people into undertaking the trek at their own expense to help publicise arthritis and its impact on the one in four South Australians who have  it. Each trekker has been seeking sponsorship to raise money for education, support and research associated with arthritis.

“They are all enthusiastic because everyone knows someone who suffers from arthritis” said Madeline. “Some are elderly, others are children and some don’t even know they have it yet. There are more than 120 different types and it was this and the incredibly high rate of impact on the South Australian population that convinced me that I should do something more to further our understanding of arthritis.”

Madeline’s insight is more than most.  She is the coordinator of Arthritis SA’s national Kidsflix program . It enables children with arthritis, and their families, as well as children facing other challenges, to have a morning of entertainment and partying at a cinema, before they all attend a movie. Many have never been to a cinema, let alone be treated with face painting, balloon blowing, craft work and other fun things.

“It really didn’t take much encouragement for me to do this trek,” said Madeline.  “With every Kidsflix event that I attend, I increasingly realise how huge the need is to do more.  All I said when someone suggested doing to trek was; just get me to the church on time”.

The Arthritis SA Events Coordinator is marrying at Saint Francis Xavier’s Cathedral just a few weeks after returning.