Cancer and Chemotherapy and still Running
By Graham Ives, Melbourne VICTORIA, email firstname.lastname@example.org
I am writing to invite you to join with me in spreading the message that cancer can be tolerated and to help raise funds specifically for cancer research, to bring the day nearer when the big C can be kissed goodbye. I plan to run in the Victorian 24 hour championship at the Coburg Harriers track on 12/13 April. It is fairly certain I will be the first to do this on chemotherapy. Once upon a time, I would have been able to cover almost 200 km in that time, but I know full well that even 100 km might beyond me now.
The background to my story is that I am a 64 year old long distance runner who loves his sport, having clocked up over 260 marathon and longer runs all round the world. Three years ago, having just moved to South Africa to be with the woman I loved, a completely unexpected cancerous colon blockage resulted in 6 inches less colon and a six month dose of chemotherapy. I was told then that I might be able to jog a mile or so if I was lucky, but astounded the medical men by continuing to run. Not only continuing, but putting the problem to good use, by raising funds for the S African Cancer Association whilst being the first runner on chemotherapy to complete the annual 90 km Comrades marathon. Good media coverage meant that I was able to spread the message, to cancer sufferers and carers, that it is not the end of the world and that life can still be enjoyed - indeed in many ways it can be a blessing since it concentrates the mind on what is important in life.
The chemotherapy over and we thought I was out of the woods, but just before my love, (now wife), and I moved to Australia, (February 2002), back it came. More and stronger chemotherapy, followed in April by a liver operation cutting out the part with the cancer cells. That dreadful operation seemed to have been worth while when we heard that the cancer cells had been completely removed, but our joy turned to despair as a check-up in September showed that not only was the cancer still around, but first signs had been found in the lungs. There is no operation that can cure me now, but chemo can allow me to live for maybe another year or two or even three.
That despair has been replaced by determination to enjoy life and to repeat the South Africa story of fund raising and message spreading here in Australia.
Are you able to join in and help me raise funds for the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute research programme please? Research done in the last few years has allowed chemotherapy to progress from the days where patient were just kept alive, to today where the patients can live a reasonably full life, if they wish. Let's help continue that research until we can say Goodbye to Cancer.
I am expecting pre-event coverage on radio/TV and in the press and of course would be only too happy to mention your company's generosity.
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