Dubliner Susan Spillane has lost family members to cancer and her brother is currently battling the disease. She will be taking part in the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon this year to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.
“Three years ago my brother was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Nothing has phased him during his ongoing fight and despite being told on more than one occasion to start putting his affairs in order – he’s still here fighting strong. That’s why I fundraise for the Irish Cancer Society – to help try to get somewhere towards a cure for my brother’s form of cancer and so many other forms that I lost my dad, aunts and uncles to.
The Irish Cancer Society has such a range of services and support on offer. I really admire its commitment to research and finding a cure for cancer, working globally with other agencies to put an end to this terrible disease.
As for my brother - well he's my rock! As any older brother he's always been protective of his little sister and he’s such an inspiration. When I need to dig deep during a training session, I think of what he has been through and that gives me the push I need to keep on going. I always remind myself - I'm running for those who can’t.
The Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon was my first race on my running journey, and it was a great one to start off with! I had about five weeks to train for it and gradually increased my running distance each week by 1km, starting from a base of about 4km. I find park runs are great when you’re training for the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon and would encourage anyone training to head along to these.
I love the overall buzz of the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon day itself - seeing so many women running, jogging or walking for so many charities, listening to the craic and the exchange of stories. It’s great to see the excitement (and sometimes the worry) before the start; the women leaning out of the windows at Holles Street Maternity Hospital, screaming us on and then of course the great support along the route - not only the volunteers giving up their bank holiday Monday but also the members of the public. And then that glorious final turn, when you see the finish line and hear the roar of the supporters as you cross that line. If we could bottle that feeling we'd make a fortune. I’ll be at the start line of the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon this June – again supporting the Irish Cancer Society – and hope to see many of you there!”
One of the areas of Irish Cancer Society supported by the Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon participants is the Society’s Cancer Support services. These include the Cancer Nurseline Freephone 1800 200 700 and 13 Daffodil Centres. They are both staffed by specialist cancer nurses who provide support to cancer patients, their families and friends, as well as members of the public. Together, the services had over 42,000 interactions with members of the public affected by or concerned with cancer last year.
For more information go to www.cancer.ie