True Blue Mark O’Meley didn’t hesitate when asked if he would walk 100 kilometres during the month of September for Camp Quality’s Big Walk for Little Kids to help raise money for his six-year-old goddaughter, Grace Danfield, who is battling leukaemia.
It was an issue which struck close to home for more reasons than one for the former premiership-winning prop after his wife, Sandy, won a three-year battle with breast cancer in 2019.
In fact, the man widely known as ‘Ogre’, was so dedicated to the cause that he asked if he could scrap the 100km target and replace it with 200km instead.
“I get up and jump on the treadmill every morning because we’re in lockdown,” O’Meley told nswrl.com.au.
“I live rural and 5km out of my area is nowhere really.
“I just get up and do 8km and then I walk around the property all day feeding the sheep and cows and I get up around 16-18km a day.
“They set me a target of 100km but I ended up changing it because I’d already done 100km in five days.”
O’Meley, who has coached NSWRL Pathways teams in the past and now works as a Pathways Coach for the Newcastle Knights, said he knew firsthand how quickly costs could escalate for families who were dealing with cancer.
He said that Grace’s family had to sell items, including their caravan, to help pay for treatment once their government assistance ran out.
O’Meley also thanked the Knights for their support this season after they invited Grace to run the ball out for the team before an NRL match.
“It’s not a nice situation to be in,” O’Meley said.
“It’s pretty tough on everyone.”
Click here to donate to Grace and Mark O’Meley’s ‘Big Walk for Little Kids’.