This website was the blog we kept...

The official website is here:

Also, my latest adventures are here:

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Still getting recognition

Amazing how I made the top 120 list of most inspirational people on the coast! Wow.
Wait till they hear about and see me ride my dutch bike from Sydney to Melbourne.
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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Next Adventure!!

STOP PRESS Read all about it! The next adventure:
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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kinaba who??

As many of you know I am a Hash House Harriers. This year the bi-annual Interhash is held in Borneo (see their website) and I am intending to go! Not only that, I am intending to be fit, to be very fit, and not to have lung infection; I am going to climb Mount Kinabalu

Gunung Kinabalu (The Malay name) is a prominent mountain in Southeast Asia. It is located in Kinabalu National Park (a World Heritage Site) in the east Malaysian state of Sabah, on the island of Borneo. Its summit (known as Low’s Peak) is at 4,095 metres (13,435 ft) above sea level.

The main peak of the mountain (Low's Peak) can be climbed easily by a person in good physical condition, and requires nomountaineering equipment. That sounds like me doesn't it! All I need to do is make sure I can handle the altitude.

Altitude... For anyone who lives near the sea to even spend a short time above 4000 meters. There is a 20% chance of getting altitude sickness in areas between 2000 – 2500 m, and a 40% chance in areas of 3000-3500 m. With below 50% lung capacity this may affect me worse...

Sensitivity to altitude sickness varies from individual to individual, and is not dependent on the degree of physical fitness, nor on the previous number of visits to high altitude areas. Patients with heart and lung diseases run more risk at high altitude. The symptoms can persist for up to 72 hours after arrival and may continue for 2-5 days when remaining at high altitude. At first the symptoms of acute altitude sickness are mild: the patient complains of headache, fatigue and shortness of breath (dyspnoea) upon exertion, lack of appetite, nausea, insomnia, dizziness, general malaise, and sometimes swelling of hands, feet and face (first of the eyelids). The severity of symptoms depends on the altitude, the rapidity at which this altitude was attained, the effort expended in getting there and whether the visit is prolonged there overnight. The complaints can get worse(vomiting, dry cough and increasing shortness of breath), and can sometimes eventually develop into life-threatening conditions due to high altitude lung oedema (fluid in the vesicles of the lung, with a worsening dry cough, fever and shortness of breath even when resting) and/or high altitude cerebral oedema (swelling of the brain, with headache that no longer responds to analgesics, unsteady gait, increasing vomiting and gradual loss of consciousness).

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Receiving my OAM!

Here are all the Tasmanian recipients of the 2009 Queens Birthday honours list.


These are now available on

Coughing the Distance with Cystic Fibrosis DVD ~ Lucas Li

Coughing the Distance: Paris to Istanbul with Cystic Fibrosis by Jonas Jacob
Walter van Praag

Walter and the Mucous Monsters: A tale of adventure and Cystic Fibrosis by
Katherine Hitch
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Coughing on CNN!

This week CNN is showcasing i-Reporters, like myself, who are doing their part to make the world a better place and highlighting some of the best i-reports received from around the globe. Watch us Coughing the Distance at the following times on CNN International:


CNN also streams the show at the following website:

Friday, September 12, 2008

Canberra Times

Here is the Canberra Times Coverage of late August!

Friday, September 05, 2008

Robert Knight -

Did you know Robert Knight is going solo to the South Pole for Cystic Fibrosis? Well, he is! And I ran into him a few months ago and last tuesday we headed off into The Walls of Jerusalem National Park in the remote Northwest of Tasmania and found some snow. A superfit young man and a 40-something old CF 'sufferer'; what a team. Robert patiently waited for me to cough up all the hills, which tested his patience on the first night when we did not get to set up tents in the snow till 7pm - well after dark! We had a great time and I feel much better again. Photos are <here>.

Visit Robert's website: and see if you can spare a few $$$ towards his expedition!
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Time flies...

Progress update. Lucas is still working on a final copy of the documentary, one that he is happy to submit to the Bicycle Film Festival. In the mean time we have shown the Canberra edition of the documentary to a Devonport crowd at the Entertainment Center and that was a great hit. The little hall we got given at no charge was almost full with 60 people attending. Considering it was mid-week, mid-day and less then a week's notice we did very well!

Monday, August 25, 2008

I say Jump!

You think I am silly?

We're all silly!

Walter, Lucas, Tiina and Dave jumping for joy at the first Canberra screening of Coughing the Distance!
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Screening in Devonport

Monday 1 September from 2pm till 4pm. in the Centenary Court of the Devonport Entertainment and Convention Centre.
Entry by donation, and donations will go to the CF Association of Tasmania.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

In case you like to read it

Click on the below image to get a large version of the Sunday Examiner article.
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The Sunday Examiner - 24 Aug 08

Wow, journalist Ben Wild got all the facts right too. I wished I could have written the book as well as he's written this story. I flew into Devonport today and could not believe what I saw in the paper when I landed in Tassie!

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The Advocate 19 August 08

My fav. local journo Sarah Webb wrote this great article in the Advocate for Tuesday August 19.
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Friday, August 22, 2008

Canberra Screenings

Canberra screenings went well. We had our new and improved version 1.1 of the documentary, and it is looking good! The Finkel Theatre at the John Curtin School was awesome, but it was a shame we only had 30 odd people show. Parking at ANU is atrocious, and it was a day-time session. I was hoping people from the school would actually show.

The Southern Cross screening was excellent with about 60 people attending. Many of our friends and families showed up, and Lucas bought 6 bottles of wine which he made me present to some of the major contributors of our project. I should have thought of that, only K and I are pretty broke right now! I still feel like giving away all the books to all the great people, but we just cannot afford to do that unfortunately. Nothing extra was charged for David, Lucas and myself to sign the books. Gratis!

Barbarra Mills from the ACT CF Association was officially handed a collection of donations from the two screenings for their association. I hope it was a good amount.

Now I need to arrange a NW Tasmania screening ASAP! Our biggest support came from there!

John Curtin School of Medical Research

Today was open day at the school and following the screening of Coughing the Distance I was asked if I liked to have a table in the foyer during their open-day!

I was honoured. Met a bunch of interesting researchers and other medical people who will hopefully be able to use some of our books/DVD! I also met my first ever genetic councellor, Jennifer Hogan.
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Thursday, August 21, 2008

ACT CF Association

Wow, I found this at my mother's home, the July 2008 newsletter of the ACT CF Association. I was in it with a beautiful photo of me consuming a German Ale and a story I had written for them in the past.

The newsletter also had an order form in it to pre-order the books/DVD!

Thank you Berenice!
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Monday, August 18, 2008

Pre-sales Update

Dear all of you who were wonderful enough to pre-purchase the books and DVD. This is an update especially for you! I wanted to rush off the pre-sales as soon as possible of course, but we had a slight hiccup with the documentary. We were slightly delayed and the documentary we showed at the launch was perhaps not a perfect version. We are right now touching it up and taking some typos out of it that we discovered and that we find embarrassing! So as soon as we have a good copy, which should be in the next week or so, I will mail them out.

Those who ordered the books alone will go out in a matter of days!!

Thank you all for your enormous support!

Walter and the COFE team!

The Grand Launch

Lucas and my mum arrived last week and we rushed out the DVD production for the launch. Too late to review it, but we'll see how the audience reacts!

We had a great weekend in Hobart doing the launch at the CF Nurses conference. The doco was well received and we sold a heap of books!
There were several newspaper articles and some radio and TV coverage too. Off to canberra today to polish the doco with Lucas and to show it to the Canberra community!

Unfortunately my laptop died and has not been resurrected yet, causing delays in reporting...
Here is one article:

This is an old one I just found.
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Press Circus

Tomorrow is the launch in Hobart! Followed by a radio interview on ABC 936 Drive at 1745 with Louise Saunders . There should also be coverage in the Mercury as well as a spread in the Sunday paper. Gosh, we are in the spotlight! Lucas and my mother are here and we are all tickled pink with the attention. Let's hope people like our work.