Run2Cure on Sunday 4 June will raise funds that support research in the fight against neuroblastoma.

Kids and adults running and racing, laughing families frolicking and having fun – the scene at this year’s Run2Cure Neuroblastoma fun run and fun day in Sydney will be a complete contrast to the isolation families feel when kids are in cancer treatment.

Lucy Jones knows this only too well. She is on a mission to raise community awareness and research funding for a disease which many haven’t heard of. Lucy herself didn’t know of neuroblastoma until her daughter Sienna was diagnosed aged nine months in 2007. The experience scarred her. It was a time of constant fear and worry. Few among her friends and family could relate when fewer than 50 cases of neuroblastoma are diagnosed across the country each year.

“In the two years Sienna was in treatment, I only met two other families being treated for neuroblastoma at the same hospital. It’s a rare cancer but claims more lives of kids under 5 than any other.

“All those years of life lost when a child with neuroblastoma dies – we should be talking more about it.”

“All those years of life lost when a child with neuroblastoma dies – we should be talking more about it.”

Speaking up for kids with neuroblastoma

Helping families who’ve experienced neuroblastoma enjoy a day out together is just one of the reasons Lucy is so passionate about the Neuroblastoma Australia event, Run2Cure, an all-ages, all-abilities walking and running event. Another reason is research.

“If we knew more about neuroblastoma, Sienna might still be alive.”

Sienna with her mum, Lucy Jones

Sienna passed away 7 years ago when her neuroblastoma returned after treatment, leaving her a 0-1% chance of survival and almost no available treatment options. This experience has made Lucy a strong advocate for children’s cancer research.

With the average age of neuroblastoma diagnosis between 1- 2 years old, an age when children are just starting to put words together, Lucy sees her role as speaking up for kids with neuroblastoma.

“Adult cancers get a lot of public attention and research. I speak up for children’s cancers because children themselves often can’t.”

Murray Norris

Run2Cure will raise funds that go to our research at Children’s Cancer Institute. Important progress is being made. Just last week Deputy Director Professor Murray Norris gave a seminar on where we’re headed with researching new neuroblastoma treatments and even, in the more distant future, preventing the disease altogether.

He spoke about new strategies to shut down transporter proteins that eject drugs from cancer cells; about a clinical trial for the drug DFMO that starves cancer cells of nutrients called polyamines; and research into the genes that serve as cancer master switches and how they are activated.

Neuroblastoma Australia has raised over $430K for our research from the past 4 years of Run2Cure events. This year’s Run2Cure is on Sunday 4 June, 7am-1pm and aims to raise $150K. Lucy says small donations are fine.

“If everyone asks their contacts to donate just $5 that goal is quite achievable. And research funds add up to make a big difference . . .”

“If everyone asks their contacts to donate just $5 that goal is quite achievable. And research funds add up to make a big difference to the future of kids with neuroblastoma.”

Ready to run

Kids at Run2Cure dressed as superheroes
Kids at Run2Cure dressed as superheroes

The day is for everyone who wants to help find a cure. There is a 1km Little Heroes Walk where kids under 5 walk dressed as superheroes. There are also kids’ and adults’ 3km, 5km and 10km walks and runs which take in glorious harbour views en route.

Children’s Cancer Institute researchers and support staff are running at Run2Cure. Corporate partnership executive Kirsti Rae will run the full 10km.

Institute staff member, Kirsti and her daughter training for Run2Cure, running along coast
Institute staff member, Kirsti and her daughter training for Run2Cure

“I am actually running with my 11 year old daughter who has been training with me. She’s trying to raise money through her school and friends in sporting activities, and hoping to reach $1000.”

“We’ve been training hard, running twice a week. I tell everyone to get behind the event,” she said.

Read more about Run2Cure Neuroblastoma and sign up to register.

Top image: Runners, including Princess Leia, in 2015’s Run2Cure Neuroblastoma.



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