Old Coast Walker and local Nerang resident Warwick McLauchlan is walking, paddling or cycling to every Woolworths store from Sawtell to as far north as Beenleigh to raise awareness and much needed funds for Asthma Australia.

The event named Wazza Wheezes Around Woolies is conducted in the hope of bringing the seriousness of asthma to the forefront of people’s minds.

The schedule of events (listed below) will extend six weeks, traversing more than 530km on land and sea.  Woolworth’s stores will be helping out with lunches, and people with asthma are invited to join local events along the way.

Warwick Wazza Gold Coast

Photo by Jerad Williams, Gold Coast Bulletin

Warwick started fundraising for asthma in 2014 as a result of his personal experience with asthma which also affects several family members, and his commitment has remained strong with this year’s event.

“My grandfather died as a result of asthma and my father would have died had he not migrated to Australia to help him to manage his asthma,” said Warwick.

“I have been in intensive care three times with asthma, and two of my children have suffered from it. The work of Asthma Australia has aided me in getting my condition under control, and I want to help them continue to help others.”

Asthma affects 1 in 9 Australians and kills over 400 people a year, but it is an often-overlooked chronic condition. Nearly 500,000 Australian children aged 0-14 have asthma. There were 39,448 asthma hospitalisations in 2015-16 and children aged 0-14 make up 51% of these. Warwick is being joined by members of the Gold Coast Midweek Paddling and Outdoors group, the Gold Coast Midweek Walking and Social Group and local Woolworths stores’ team members to participate in a series of outdoor activities. He encourages people with asthma to join them along the way.

Asthma Statistics

“I’m particularly looking forward to one event, taking place between Tweed Heads and the Currumbin on July 9” said Warwick.

“There will be three simultaneous events, the walk from Tweed to Currumbin, a ride from currumbin to Tweed and back, and a paddle along Currumbin Creek.”

The highlight for Warwick, however, is the Sea of Blue Walk.

“We’ll will have Midweek group members and Woolies team managers and team members walking the 1.1 kms between the two Woolworths stores in Tweed Mall and Coolongatta Strand wearing blue shirts. I’m hoping to attract attention from the general public and also donations.”

The annual fundraising event was started in 2014 by Warwick as the Oceanway Walk raising just over $1,000. Warwick’s continued efforts over the past four years have raised over $25,000 for Asthma Australia through his fundraising activities.  2019 will be the sixth year Warwick is fundraising for asthma, and this year he hopes to raise $10,000.

CEO of Asthma Australia Michele Goldman said, “This is an inspiring example of a member of the community taking action to support a cause that has had a big impact on his life and that of family members. We are very thankful to Warwick for his continued efforts over the years and wish him the very best in his challenge this year.

We appreciate the efforts of all community fundraisers who donate their own time and efforts through their experience of asthma to help raise awareness and funds in the hope of one day finding a cure. Thank you, we couldn’t do it without you,” she said.

The Wazza Wheezes Around Woolies fundraising event will run from June 12, 2019 starting at Grafton at 10:00am, to Sunday 28 July, 2019 finishing at Reedy Creek at 2:00pm.  You can keep up to date with Wazza via his Facebook Page ‘Wazza Wheezes’

Those wanting to make a donation to support Warwick should visit the official fundraising page here: https://give.everydayhero.com/au/oldcoastwalker-for-asthma.

Full details of the challenge are available here.