Tackling the Kokoda Trail for melanoma
6 April 2018
Fraser Dykes tackled the Kokoda Trail on an eight day trek in memory of his friend Mark “Bod” Boddison.
Fraser’s trek fell in the middle of Melanoma Institute Australia’s major fundraising and awareness campaign Melanoma March which spans across 22 locations around the country, supporting, remembering and fundraising for past and present melanoma patients.
Out of sight, does not mean out of mind for Fraser and Bod. Friends for nearly 40 years, the pair remained very close after Fraser relocated to Australia from Scotland 19 years ago. “We kept in regular contact despite being on the other side of the world. He visited me in Oz on a number of occasions and I took my family to Scotland and we spent our 40th Birthday’s together”.
Bod was diagnosed with melanoma 11 years ago but was given the all clear. Six years later, due to the viciousness of melanoma, Bod had tumours in his brain, abdomen and other parts of his body. But Bod did not lose his sense of humour or positive attitude. Fraser flew to Scotland to spend some time with his lifelong friend. “Those two weeks were priceless for us”, Fraser said.
Devastatingly, Bod lost his battle on March 11th last year. Fraser took on Kokoda just over one year since Bod passed away. Fraser is hoping to fundraise and raise awareness about melanoma. Even though Scotland doesn’t cop the brunt of extreme UV rays like Australia, melanoma doesn’t discriminate.
Bod left behind his wife Ailsa and daughter Zoe who I keep in regular contact with and they are coping as well as can be expected. I also speak regularly to Bod's parents whom I have known since I was a little schoolboy & I find it very difficult speaking to them as I can hear just how terribly sad they are without Mark.
With three young children who spend a lot of time playing outside, Fraser is patently aware of the dangers of too much sun. “I was shocked to read the statistics regarding young Aussies and melanoma so that fortified my decision to raise funds”, Fraser said.
Fraser braved harsh terrain and difficult trekking conditions including extreme humidity and wet conditions. Fraser took on an incredible challenge for Melanoma Institute Australia and you can help him take it one step further by donating to his cause here.
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