Allyson and Rob are running for cancer research

“Our dads both have cancer so my wife Allyson and I are taking on the Canberra Times Australian Running Festival in April this year to raise funds for cancer research.

My dad was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer a few years ago. He has been undertaking hormone treatment and while it has assisted somewhat, unfortunately, the cancer is also in his bones and has now spread to his lungs. Dad will soon be on his fourth round of chemotherapy.

Ally’s dad was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer less than 12 months ago. He underwent a major operation that removed part of his stomach, but shortly afterwards, cancer spread to his liver. He now finds it very difficult to eat and has lost a lot of weight.

We found out late last year that Ally’s dad’s liver cancer was terminal, he was only given 12 months to live. Ally’s dad was a passionate runner and completed a few marathons over his lifetime, including the Gold Coast Marathon while in his mid-60s. So Ally and I decided that we wanted to show our support of cancer research and push ourselves by giving the Canberra Running Festival a go. Ally will be running the marathon and I will be running the ultramarathon (50kms). We aren’t athletes, and won’t be there to win the race, there’s a chance we won’t finish the race, but we are going to give it a go.

Ally and I aren’t completely new to running. Over the past four or so years, we’ve done a few half marathons and two years ago I finished my first full marathon. Since completing those events, Ally gave birth to our lovely daughter Eliza. So while Ally had a very good excuse for not running, I didn’t, and the out-of-shape dad bod quickly appeared! I’m currently running most days a week now though and Ally isn’t far behind. We barely managed to complete a 10km run on the weekend so we need to quickly improve our fitness levels.

Although my dad loves sport, he is probably wondering why the hell anyone would choose to run 50kms but I know he’ll be very proud of us for our efforts.

We originally entered the Running Festival to show our support for our dads, but as their cancer treatments go on, we are quickly realising that more funds need to go toward ending cancer.

Finishing our respective runs on April 9 will be a great personal achievement for Ally and me, and our emotions will more than likely be all over the shop. If Ally’s dad has stabilised health-wise, he’ll be there at the finish line, and I will be on the phone with my dad.

Neither of us has lost anyone close to us at this point in our lives. I think we are both in agreement that we can’t imagine our lives without either of dads and Eliza loves her amazing granddads! Right now we are just focusing on creating some wonderful memories.

Whether we raise $5 or $500 for cancer research, it all adds up. The longer our fathers live with cancer, the more we dream that better methods of prevention, detection and treatment will be discovered. ACRF is one of the leading organisations when it comes to contributing to cancer research and we all need to support research to one day end this deadly disease.” – ACRF supporters, Rob & Allyson

To support Rob and Allyson, visit their everyday hero page.

Donate Join a fitness event Share your story