Stacey Miles-Ward is a mum on a mission.
In June, she’s taking off on the adventure of a lifetime – running six half-marathons and a full marathon in seven cities in seven days – to raise money for a cause close to her heart.
Stacey is the Queensland National Runner for the Bravehearts 777 marathon and has been training for the event doing laps of Lake Eden at North Lakes.
“I only started running in 2015 and I couldn’t even run a kilometre – it was so embarrassing,” she says.
“It’s a personal challenge - I’ve done a number of half marathons and my first full marathon was the River Run when I turned 40.”
Bravehearts works to prevent child sexual assault and exploitation, as well as providing education, counselling, support and advocacy.
Traditionally taking in seven states in seven days, the marathon series is confined to Queensland this year due to COVID-19.
It starts in Toowoomba on June 28, travelling to Brisbane, Mount Isa, Cairns, Townsville and Mackay, before finishing with a 42km run in the Gold Coast Marathon.
Having worked in child protection with the Australian Federal Police, the mum of one is no stranger to the impact of child abuse and exploitation.
“Bravehearts is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to the prevention of child sexual assault,” she says.
“The work they do is just phenomenal because it’s one of those crime types no-one wants to talk about.
“Children are our most vulnerable and they’re our future – we need to protect them.
Stacey says the statistics around child sexual assault and exploitation are sobering.
“It’s one child every two hours in Australia and one in five Australian children will be sexually harmed by the time they turn 18.”
Tasked with raising at least $10,000 to compete in the Bravehearts 777 Marathon, Stacey says donations are vital to help the organisation continue to support children.
A $12 donation provides access to Bravehearts’ personal safety program, $150 pays for a face-to-face counselling session and $75 provides phone counselling.
To donate to Stacey’s epic marathon journey click here.