“In April I will be running in the 2017 London Marathon. I am a passionate footballer, runner and now fundraiser who decided to begin this journey about a year after my Mum, Krystyna was diagnosed with lung cancer. I’m participating in this marathon, not just for Mum, but also for everyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer.
In March 2015, my mother was diagnosed with inoperable stage IV lung cancer. A non-smoker, Mum was told it was a genetic mutation that had led to cancer. Our entire family could not have been more shocked as Mum has always been really healthy. She is 63 years old, retired and enjoying a well-earned break from working life.
Mum is one of my best friends, she has always been there for me through the tough times. She is a devoted grandmother to my two little girls. A wonderful wife to her husband, Joe, and an amazing mum to my brother Steven and I.
Shortly after her diagnosis, Mum started chemotherapy in tablet form on a daily basis. This helped, but only for the first 10-11 months, at which point, cancer fought back. In February 2016, the oncologist told Mum that she had qualified to take part in a clinical trial for a drug which has been FDA approved in the UK and US. This particular drug has stopped cancer in its tracks. Mum’s condition has improved and she continues to live an otherwise normal life. For the longer term, we are not sure what the future holds for Mum, but there is hope.
130,470 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Australia this year, with that number set to rise to 150,000 by 2020. I feel like these numbers should speak for themselves but it seems to me that research is undervalued in our society even though it holds the key to beating this horrible disease. If it wasn’t for cancer research advancements both overseas and locally, Mum might not be here right now.
I chose to fundraise for Australian Cancer Research Foundation because I truly believe in everything they are doing to support cancer research in Australia. I am very grateful that I’ve been granted one of their charity gold spots in the London Marathon, London is somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit. My partner spent 10 years living and working there so I’ve heard so much about the city from her. I’m nervous and excited about the race but also filled with energy. I can’t wait to run for my mum, my girls, and the many people whom my family and I have loved and lost to cancer.