Hayley runs City2Surf for cancer research

funding research Australia

“From a young age I enjoyed all sports with touch football and athletics being my favourites, and someday I would like to work in the health and fitness industry. Now at age 22, and after two knee reconstructions, I feel ready to participate in a big event like City2Surf. To be honest, I am not too sure what urged me to register this year other than telling myself to do it now or probably I never would. I absolutely love my family and friends and have learned in the past few years that life is definitely too short, and we don’t know what is around the corner.

Although I am running for every person, family member or friend affected by cancer, there are three people in particular that I’ll be thinking of all along the way. There is my father, Michael Collins, who was diagnosed with Stage 1 prostate cancer in 2016, and he continues to have scans and tests; my brother-in-law, Jacob McCormick who had a benign brain tumour removed in 2016 at age 17; and Sharon McCormick, my partner’s beautiful mother, who died of cancer in 2014.

With no warning signs other than a horrible pain in her lower back, Sharon was diagnosed with cancer and then passed away four months later, just one day away from achieving her 46th birthday. The emptiness of not having Sharon in our lives is undeniably still there, and not a day goes by without thinking of her.  She was a beautiful soul and everything about her was infectious: the smile, the laugh (or snort!), the down-to-earth loving nature. Sharon was a true friend and an amazing person that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

I don’t think any of us can truly understand the pain of loss that comes with cancer until it affects you or your loved ones. Participating in City2Surf and fundraising for cancer research is my way of honouring all of my family, past and present, who have been affected by cancer.

After registering for this year’s race, I needed to decide on one cancer foundation to support. The choices seemed overwhelming but I ended up selecting the ACRF because it is the foundation that funds research on all types of cancers.

My advice to anyone else who is thinking of fundraising would be: honestly, just go for it! Whether you are sponsoring a friend or an organisation or running in the event itself, you are helping get one step closer to ending cancer, which in turn will save lives.

Every cent raised for cancer research counts. Without fundraising, we have no research and without research, there will be no breakthroughs. Together we can fund the technology and equipment that researchers need to continue progress towards ending all cancers.”

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