Scone siblings to undergo tough journey to raise money for charity

DOING IT FOR MUM: Scone brother and sister Lauren and Ben Taylor will honour their mother, Diane, and raise money for charity this month.
DOING IT FOR MUM: Scone brother and sister Lauren and Ben Taylor will honour their mother, Diane, and raise money for charity this month.

AN Upper Hunter brother and sister will paddle almost 500km in memory of their late mother this month.

Scone's Ben and Lauren Taylor are preparing to make the gruelling two-week journey along the Hunter River to honour their mum Diane, who they lost to cancer last year, and raise funds for Chris O'Brien Lifehouse.

The trip, named Taylor Maiden Voyage, will start in the Barrington Tops on Saturday, October 19.

They'll begin on foot and follow the river until there is enough water to initiate paddling.

The siblings will be aided by their dad, Garry, in a support vehicle whose job is to make sure his kids are fed, watered and accommodated every evening.

They plan to stay in each of the towns the river travels through including Ellerston, Moonan, Belltrees, Muswellbrook, Denman, Jerrys Plains, Singleton, Maitland and Raymond Terrace.

They're then due to arrive in Newcastle on Saturday, November 2 - 12 months since the passing of Diane Taylor.

The family decided to undertake this epic odyssey to raise funds for Chris O'Brien Lifehouse because it was something that Mr Taylor's wife wanted.

"Diane received excellent care while she was undergoing two clinical trials there," he said.

"The nurses, doctors and staff were always incredibly friendly.

"They made Diane at ease the many, many times we had to visit the hospital.

"Chris O'Brien was a renowned surgeon and cancer specialist whose vision was to create an integrated cancer treatment centre so patients would no longer have to navigate their way through all the different elements of dealing with their illness alone.

"Sadly, in 2006, Chris was himself diagnosed with a highly malignant brain tumour and passed away in 2009."

Lifehouse was named after him posthumously.

The Taylors hope to raise $25,000 for the charity - and are well and truly on their way to reaching that goal.

Following the trip, they'll host a fundraiser at Scone Sporties (Scone Golf Club) where there will be raffles, auctions and entertainment.

Tickets are on sale via the Taylor Maiden Voyage Facebook page or at the Scone RSL.

"We've been blown away by the support we've received so far," Lauren said.

"We have had complete strangers lend us kayaks, friends offer raffle and auction prizes, landowners offering us places to stay en-route and so many generous donations.

"If you'd like to support Taylor Maiden Voyage, visit the Facebook page where you can make a contribution or purchase tickets to the fundraiser.

They're also looking for raffle and auction prizes and places to stay along the way.