Simon Harvey with his gear trolley in Mount Helena. Picture: Jacki Elezovich

Cap’s big lap: kids’ cancer superhero arrives in hills

Captain Australia is a cancer survivor fundraising for Kids' Cancer Project by walking a lap of Australia.
June 27, 2024
Jacki Elezovich

CAPTAIN Australia, known in everyday life as Simon Harvey, has been making his way around the country, determinedly walking to raise money for the Kids’ Cancer Project.

The goal is to walk a lap of Australia, starting and ending in Brisbane, more than 15,000km in two years.

Echo News caught up with Mr Harvey on his way into Perth, and he said he was excited to have made it across the Nullarbor.

“The Nullarbor crossing is a big, tangible milestone, so feeling good at the moment,” he said.

Mr Harvey is a survivor of stage four head and neck cancer, and he said seeing kids endure the same painful treatment and long wait times as he did was the final straw to do something drastic to make a change.

Mr Harvey completed his first big walk from Brisbane to Melbourne, more than 2200km, in 2022. He started on Boxing Day 2021, trekking down the coast to arrive in Federation Square on March 18, 2022.

This walk raised $165,000 for the Kids’ Cancer Project, a not-for-profit research organisation dedicated to ending childhood cancer, which is also the purpose behind the ‘big lap’.

“The first big walk made me more confident in myself.

“I set this ludicrous goal and actually achieved it, so it made me confident I could do something way bigger.’’

The big lap started in Brisbane in July 2023, and Mr Harvey aims to get home before the middle of 2025.

“Perth to Darwin is another long stretch, so once that’s behind me I’ll feel like I’m on the home straits back to Brisbane.

“The finish line is something I’m really looking forward to and seeing my family when I get home.”

Mr Harvey has been appearing as Captain Australia online and at charity and community events since 2008 but hung up the mask with his cancer diagnosis.

“Captain Australia was originally about bringing more light and kindness into the world. I believe kindness is the antidote to sorrow and putting that costume on and dressing up is a good vessel for that,” he said.

He treks with his belongings in a two-wheeled trolley, outfitted with insulation, solar panels, flags and speakers, and operates without a support vehicle, relying on the kindness of strangers to help him on his journey.

“The support team is really everyone and no one,” he said.

“People will just come up to me when they hear I’m close by and bring me things, food and water that kind of stuff. But for the most part I’m on my own, so really there’s supporters everywhere but also this is very much a solo mission.”

Mr Harvey has raised more than $67,000 for childhood cancer research since starting the walk last July. The fundraising goal is $1 million.

“Donations come from all over the place, from people I’ve met or who are following along or have been told about what I’m doing. Every dollar helps, and it’s all going to make a difference to somebody.’’

Among his highlights of the trek are the people he’s met along the way.

“I’ve met so many amazing people doing this and heard stories from people who were impacted by cancer in the same way I was, or someone they loved was impacted, and it’s really special to know you’re making a difference in someone’s life, even if only a small bit or just for a little while,” he said.

“I want people to remember to spread kindness, and that kindness comes back to you like a boomerang. Anything small you can do to help someone is worth it.”

To donate, head to the Captain Australia website.

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