Running for Research

Breast cancer survivor Susan Murray with her daughter as they prepare for the run.

A record 20,000 people are set to pound Brisbane’s streets next month to support breast cancer research and services after the International Women’s Day Fun Run, presented by National Storage, sold out in just four weeks.

But people who want to join Mater Foundation’s biggest fund-raising event of the year are still able to take part – by completing virtual fun runs in their own communities.

The 5km Brisbane fun run will be held on Sunday 12 March.

The city will be flooded by a ‘sea of pink’ as runners, joggers and walkers leave South Brisbane, cross the Story Bridge and end the run in the city’s Botanical Gardens.

Across the state almost 3000 participants have already signed up to take part in the virtual event, with teams running in Townsville, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Mackay, the Gold Coast, Toowoomba and the Redlands.

Gearing up for the big day are Brisbane breast cancer survivors Susan Murray and her niece Cinnamon Watson, who are passionate about supporting others living with the disease.

Mrs Murray underwent a mastectomy at Mater Hospital Brisbane in South Brisbane 10 years ago and is now in remission.

The 70-year-old, from Kippa-Ring, will be joined by a team of more than 10 family members as part of ‘Murray Mafia’.

“I am one of the lucky ones. To see my niece, a warrior princess, diagnosed with the same disease and know what path was in front of her was very hard on all of us,” Mrs Murray said.

“Cinnamon has three children, and she was very brave during her treatment.”

Mrs Murray said the event was “heart-warming”, knowing the money donated would go towards improving the care and treatment of women with breast cancer through enhanced services, new equipment and ground-breaking medical research.

Mrs Watson, a Mater Private Hospital Brisbane patient, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018, and has undergone a double mastectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy.

The 49-year-old Morningside mother and Brisbane publicist said she “never fought the disease alone”, thanks to her parents and “exceptional” husband Tony.

“My kids were 18, 14 and 12 when I was diagnosed,” Mrs Watson said.

“We are a very close family unit, so it was hard for them to see me so unwell, lose my hair and all of the other awful things that come with breast cancer. But on the plus side they got to see the inherent good in human nature as our friends and community rallied to help us.”

Mater Foundation Chief Executive Officer Andrew Thomas said the fun run had been a much-loved event for more than 30 years and had been expanded to allow Queenslanders to participate wherever they live in the state.

Last year’s fun run was cancelled due to the 2022 Brisbane floods, but fund-raisers and virtual runners still managed to raise an incredible $1.75 million.

Participation in the previous 2021 fun run was capped at 13,500 and has now been increased in response to public demand.

“The response from the community this year has been overwhelming,” Mr Thomas said.

“We’re delighted that 20,000 Queenslanders will be joining the sea of pink in Brisbane this year and that so far another 2900 will be running in their own virtual events.

“If you missed out on joining the Brisbane event, or you live in other parts of Queensland, you can still be part of this fantastic celebration.

“Register with us and walk or run in your own community – every dollar you raise will help women fighting breast cancer.

“This year we’re hoping to raise more than $1.75m to provide personalised support services and state-of-the-art equipment to better diagnose and treat patients, as well as investing in life-saving breast cancer research at Mater.

“Please join us and show women with breast cancer that we’re right beside them during their most difficult time.”

EVENT DETAILS

What: International Women’s Day Fun Run, presented by National Storage -Australia’s largest International Women’s Day celebration.

Support people with breast cancer and raise vital funds for breast cancer research and services in Mater Foundation’s biggest community event of the year.

When: Sunday 12 March 2023

Where: South Bank to the City Botanic Gardens

Visit: https://fundraise.mater.org.au/event/funrun-2023/virtual-how-it-works

VIRTUAL EVENT DETAILS

Where: Anywhere in your neighbourhood (that’s safe!)

When: 6-12 March 2023

Visit: fundraise.mater.org.au/event/funrun-2023/virtual-how-it-works

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