Deaf woman to walk Kokoda track

National, Normal

CANCER survivor and deaf fundraiser Hendy O’Toole is urging other Victorians to join her on a gruelling Kokoda trek to honour Australia’s diggers and raise money for the Bionic Ear Institute.
Mrs O’Toole has started training for the nine-day trek in July and says walking the Kokoda track would bring Australia’s WWII history to life for her and help the hearing impaired Australians to communicate.
“As an Australian, it would be incredible to know, personally, what the diggers had to endure to save our beautiful country,” Mrs O’Toole said.
“It’s also a very practical way I can support the fantastic work of the Bionic Ear Institute (BEI) to research and remedy hearing loss which has had such a dramatic impact on my life.”
Mrs O’Toole, who is an active member of the Lions Club of Croydon and whose father was also profoundly deaf, said she hoped her trek would raise awareness of the importance of communication.
“I was diagnosed with progressive hearing loss when I was 19, and was told I would eventually go completely deaf.
“ I’m now profoundly deaf and rely on a hearing aid and must battle to communicate with those around me.
“It’s important that I do my bit and I plan to walk the Kokoda track and experience such an important part of our history and raise funds for a charity that has really made a difference to people like me.
Mrs O’Toole starts trekking on July 11 and Getaway Trekking is donating 10% of the trekking fees to BEI.
To sign up to complete the Kokoda trek and raise funds for BEI, contact Getaway Trekking on  03 9728 6233 or visit
Donations can be made via The Lions Club of Croydon Inc. Victoria Post Office Box 59 Croydon VIC 3136 or Bionic Ear Institute  or by phoning 9667 7500.