Jono's Story

My name is Jono Oreo… from a young age our Australian history has always amazed me. PNG & the Kokoda trail being right on our doorstep & having a wonder deep in my belly if I Jono could walk the tracks where our brave diggers fought for our freedom, I knew if I could do it 1 day, I would. . Skip forward to 2012, Im married with 3 kids, a small business owner, 1 that we created as a family together. Watchin our beloved annual Telethon on TV (raising $$$ for sick kids is a huge passion of mine) Boom the Telethon Adventurers pop up with a Kokoda promo. There went the light bulb!!! I looked at my wife & she happily smiled knowing this is my time, not only could I finally walk the infamous Kokoda trail, I get to do it while raising $$$ for our sick kids. I was excited. I signed up the following day. Little did I know but our lives(my lil family of 5) were to change forever… The adventure began immediately, as I had pledged to raise a min $5,000 along my journey. With the help our my amazing wife, wonderful friends & strangers I managed to exceed my goal raising nearly $6,000 before id even left for PNG. The lead up was getting bigger. Xmas eve 2012 I was chatting to my 83 yr old grand dad about my up-coming journey, he expressed his pride in how he had watched me get dragged, not raised though my childhood & was amazed in the man id had become, we gave each other a hug, those were the last moments we shared. Pop died suddenly less than 2 weeks later. RIP ole boy. My journey just got even bigger, April 19th, 2013 I stood at the airport saying my goodbyes to my lil family that I normally only say ‘see ya tonight to’, instead I said ‘I’ll see ya in 11 days’, i’d never been away from my kids for this long & harder yet, I’d miss my daughters 9th birthday while away. I fly from Perth to Brisbane to meet with the remainder of our 14 strong group, before this these 13 people were all strangers to myself. Now life long mates. We had planned our trek to include a Dawn Service for ANZAC Day atop of Brigade Hill, a battlefield etched in our history. Day 1 was a long day, after such a big build up to where I was, I was dead set crook as a dog. it was to be our easiest day but the toughest for me, my fellow Adventurers were so good in encouraging me along to 1st camp nite. Sitting among the cloud lines with my pops watch on my wrist, a good feed in my belly the best group of people & our porters singing to us, the next days were enjoyed like I could have never imagined, ANZAC Day dawn service was unforgettable, our leader Kingo(SAS vet) spoke, there wasn’t a dry eye. To say the least this journey has been life changing for me. Our group raised over $80,000. Since this journey I’ve become a better Dad, Husband & all round better bloke, we’ve raised a heap more $$ for childhood cancer as a family & my wife Carolyn & I just lead our 1st adventure Jump-for-a-Cure 2014 a Skydive Squadron of 15 together raising over $13,000. United we raise hope… Life is a Gift

APR 2013