Hundreds to summit Australia’s highest peak in support of rare cancer

Over 650 people will be descending on Thredbo this week (15th & 16th March) to take on Australia’s highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko, in a charity challenge to raise awareness and vital funds for rare and less common cancers.

Kosi Challenge participants start at the base in Thredbo Village and hike up to the mountain’s summit and back, an epic 21km round trip. Along the way, they also raise funds which go directly to Rare Cancers Australia and its vital patient support programs.

Among the climbers taking on the Challenge are ‘Dani’s Dynamos’, who will be returning for the third year in a row and with their biggest team yet.

Picnic Point family Rob (51), Lily (17) and Ella (16) Crossman, are team champions of ‘Dani’s Dynamos’ and found motivation in doing the Kosi Challenge to remember their late wife and mother Danielle, who passed away from a rare cancer at age 46.

“Dani was diagnosed with Stage 4 Medullary Thyroid cancer in Easter of 2021, during the Covid-19 pandemic, when both of our girls were in their early teens. Her primary concern was for our children and how much time she had left with them,” said Rob.

“After her diagnosis, which took a really long time get to the bottom of as is typical with rare cancers, we were lucky enough to find an oncologist who knew a bit about her condition and connected us with Rare Cancers Australia (RCA).

“RCA was on the phone to me within two hours of my enquiry and immediately started to provide us with solutions, ideas and ultimately much needed hope.

“There were no drugs available for Dani’s type of cancer on the PBS, and we simply could not afford the tens of thousands of dollars it would have cost to access that treatment. Through the support and advocacy of our oncologist and RCA we were able to get access to the drug Dani needed,” reflects Rob.

Sadly, after a few months of exposure to gruelling treatments, Dani’s condition deteriorated dramatically. She developed serious gastrointestinal problems and stopped eating. She passed away with Rob by her side a few days before Christmas in 2021, just eight short months after her diagnosis.

Rob conveyed why they return to Kosi each year to remember Dani and give back to RCA.

“We want to give back to the charity that gave so much to us in our time of need, not to mention that Kosi Challenge is a great fit for our already stupidly competitive family,” Rob said.

“It’s also a great way to keep Dani’s memory alive within the family and raise awareness about rare cancers to our friends. The more we talk about this, the more we normalise it, which is particularly important for younger people.

“I’ll be driving down to Thredbo with a minibus of full of teenage girls, my daughter’s friends, who’ve all raised at least $250 each for the cause. Dani had always wanted to do the Kosi Challenge herself, but never got the chance, so it will be a special moment when we reach the summit as a team and celebrate her life together,” he said.

Dani’s Dynamos currently have the highest fundraising total of any community team having raised an astounding $24,185, which is going towards the $750,000 target set for the event.

To learn more about the Kosi Challenge and support the many people taking part in the event visit