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Stilt walking to help burns victim

Matthew Martin is walking on stilts from Brisbane to Sydney to raise money for a very worthy cause. Photo: Blainey Woodham twe200411stilts2
Matthew Martin is walking on stilts from Brisbane to Sydney to raise money for a very worthy cause. Photo: Blainey Woodham twe200411stilts2

THE sky is the limit for Matthew Martin, who is pulling out all stops to raise money for a cause close to his heart.

Crossing the New South Wales border into Tweed Heads yesterday morning, the 24-year-old is taking on the tall task of walking from Brisbane to Sydney on spring-loaded stilts.

The 1000km journey will raise money for a young burns victim in Africa, by the name of Silvia, and if completed will break the Guinness World Record.

“I have a few health problems that prevent me from running,” Mr Martin said.

“I was burnt myself at a young age in a house fire, am a haemophiliac and have also had an ankle problem, so after researching ways to do the journey without running on foot it was either rollerblades or the stilts.”

The Silvia Foundation was formed in 2010 by Lisa Fisher, who met Silvia in her hometown of Mumias in Kenya. Silvia was badly burned in a house fire at only 10 months old, leaving her with severe burns and causing her to lose her right foot and right arm.

“I've only met Silvia via webcam and she just blew me away,” Mr Martin said.

“She is such a happy little girl with a huge grin on her face, but getting around is so difficult for her.” Since 2010, the foundation has raised enough money to fully fund Silvia's schooling and to fly her out to Australia to receive treatment for her injuries.

“We've raised a lot already but still need funds in order to pay for her surgeries and her prosthetic limbs.”

Mr Martin left Brisbane on April 17 and said the journey has already been tough, but he is determined to keep going.

To donate to the Silvia Foundation visit www.silviaappeal.com or join the Silvia Inc Facebook page.

Topics:  burns victim


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