Nine-year-old Sydneysider Mia can’t remember anything about the gruelling 14 months of cancer treatment she endured as a baby. And perhaps the confidence and determination she now displays were innate, rather than the result of her experiences, but either way, Mia is using these traits to support a cause that will ultimately mean others don’t have to suffer the way she did.
On Sunday 2 June, Mia will take part in the Run2Cure Neuroblastoma in Sydney’s Domain and she’s extending an open invitation to others to join her. The event, now in its seventh year, aims to attract more than 6,000 participants this year and raise $250,000 for neuroblastoma research, which will break through the collective $1 million fundraising milestone over the event’s history.
Neuroblastoma is the largest solid tumour cancer killer of Australian children under five years. The average age of diagnosis is just two, though even newborns can be affected and only half of those diagnosed with the aggressive form will survive.
In Mia’s case, she was just one year old when her mum Karina took her to the doctor, unable to pinpoint exactly what was wrong, but knowing something was off. Within a day she was informed that they were dealing with cancer and the whole family was turned upside down. At the time, Mia’s father, former test cricketer Brad Haddin and Karina also had a three and half year old son and Karina was 30 weeks pregnant with their third child. Brad immediately flew back from a tour of the West Indies to be with the family
Over the next year Mia underwent high dose chemotherapy, multiple surgeries, a bone marrow transplant, radiation therapy and immunotherapy to treat the stage four tumour, which had metastasised into her shoulders, hips, knees and leg bones. She has suffered side effects, including some hearing loss, as a result of the aggressive treatment, but she is one of the lucky ones.
Lucy Jones, Co-founder and CEO of Neuroblastoma Australia, the charity which hosts the Run2Cure, says the event brings together many families who have been affected by the disease, offering them a fun and positive day out.
“Young children are encouraged to dress up as superheroes and are thoroughly entertained by a huge array of activities and performers,” Lucy said. “But this is an event for serious runners too, with timed 3km, 5km and 10km distances, which take in the beauty of the Botanic Gardens and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair.”
In addition to prizes for race winners, Neroblastoma Australia is offering fantastic prizes for fundraising ahead of the event. Participants are eligible for these as they reach fundraising milestones. For example, if you raise just $50 you qualify for a unique Run2Cure branded Frank Green recyclable coffee cup!
Anyone and everyone is welcome to join Mia and thousands of others at the Run2Cure 2019. Jump onto: www.run2cure.org.au for all the details and to register for this action-packed day. NAB RunWest participants are eligible for a 15% discount on the entry fee until May 19, 2019 using the code RUN15.