We've created this page as we want to share a story of fighting together.
We also wanted to find a way "to give back" to the Cancer Society of New Zealand who have been in the background and supporting this fight. Vanessa's husband is a 16 year survivor of Cancer and the NZ cancer society was a comfort to have available.
We have known each other since we were kids. Both growing up in the small town of Matamata in New Zealand (now famous as it is Shire in lord of the rings - yes we are from Hobbiton ...and No we do not have hairy feet ...or at least yet!) Like with most small town high school friends - we ended up in different univesities and different towns (in our case different countries - Caroline in NZ and Vanessa in Japan).
We hadn't really kept in touch. And then came along Facebook :)... and this is when we got reconnected. On September 11th of 2012, Vanessa posted on her Facebook page a simple message "felt great to get out there a run - it really livens you up" ... a fairly simple "daily FB comment". That Evening a message was waiting in Vanessa's messenger box ... It was from Caroline.
Caroline had been diagnosed with Breast cancer one month earlier and had just been through her mastectomy. She was getting ready to start Chemo in October. Her message was simple. "I saw your running message - at the moment I barely have enough strength to walk to the car in the hospital carpark... but you make me want to run and make the effort"
And that was it - the few simple words that started so much.
Vanessa messaged Caroline and said ... ok if me running inspires you to go fight this thing ... then I will run ...I will run every day until you are done ...
And that is what we have been doing - Caroline Fighting cancer every day and Vanesa fighting the weather and schedules to run 5km outdoors every day.
The history looks a little bit like this:
Caroline had Chemo from October to April, Radiation from May to July, Reconstruction in January 2014 and January 2015. has been on Tomoxifen since July 2013 and this will last for the next 5 years.
Vanessa started the "run for the cure" On September 11, 2012. In the space of 6 months and running every day she lost 11kg! She got fit enough to run the Tokyo marathon and then New York and finally fast enough to qualify for Boston. She has run in the snow, in the ice, in typhoons. At 3am before getting on a plane. She has run with blisters, sore tendons, influenza and hangovers.
All the while we fight - and raise awareness. Vanessa has found many running partners through the years.
On June 8th 2015 we hit 1000 days of fighting and running. Caroline and her daughter Tyler flew to Tokyo and we ran together on day 1000.
1000 days of fighting ... and running.
The journey though is not over - it would be nice if cancer had an expiry date on it - like "if you fight for 1000 days then i will expire" but it doesn't. So the running and fighting continues. This was made very obvious for me one day while Caroline and I were in Tokyo after a long day ...she casually said to me "remind me to take my pills - I have to take them every day"...
And that is it - cancer is something you fight every day. So the "outRUN" cancer continues. Vanessa has now pledged to try to run all 6 major marathons (kind of like the Grand Slam in tennis). Just like cancer there is the every day fight (5km everyday) and then there are the big hurdles (marathons) and then there are the "days after the big hurdles" where we need extra love and support to keep going.
So of the BIG SIX Tokyo, New York and Boston are done. Oct 2015 will be Chicago. help us raise the funds for London as I will be running with the NZ cancer Society team.