Dad’s run for can­cer

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By JESS LEE

THREE thou­sand is a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber for the Ma­son fam­ily.

It is the num­ber of kilo­me­tres trekked back and forth to Star­ship chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal for daugh­ter Hay­ley’s can­cer treat­ments. It’s also the dis­tance her dad will run this year in recog­ni­tion of her brav­ery.

Dave Ma­son kicked off his chal­lenge on March 4 – the day Hay­ley fin­ished her eighth and fi­nal cy­cle of treat­ment for lym­phoma.

He will be fundrais­ing for the Child Can­cer Foun­da­tion along the way.

Ma­son plans to tackle three marathons as part of the 3000km, in mem­ory of three chil­dren who went through their treat­ment at the same time as Hay­ley but didn’t make it.

He says his daugh­ter has been a ‘‘trooper’’ through­out her treat­ment, which has lasted more than two years.

‘‘She has main­tained a pos­i­tive ap­proach . . . her mum Karen and I are very proud of the way she has han­dled her­self.’’

Hay­ley was di­ag­nosed with lym­phoma, a can­cer of the im­mune sys­tem, in 2012.

She de­vel­oped a red and swollen face which the fam­ily thought was due to an al­lergy but turned out to be caused by a cricket ball-sized tu­mour squeez­ing an artery above her heart.

Hay­ley has 573 Beads of Courage rep­re­sent­ing the num­ber of pro­ce­dures she has en­dured. She is one of this year’s Child Can­cer Foun­da­tion Auck­land am­bas­sadors.

The 10-year-old says she thinks her dad is pretty cool for tak­ing up the run­ning chal­lenge.

Ma­son ad­mits he’s no sea­soned run­ner. But he man­aged to com­plete the Auck­land Marathon last year af­ter just a few months of train­ing and will do it all again this year. Queen­stown’s Shotover Marathon will fin­ish off his chal­lenge.

He will need to run about 60km a week to reach his goal.

‘‘I’ve never done any­thing like this so I’m a bit ner­vous – but if it was easy I wouldn’t do it.

‘‘I don’t want to let any­one down,’’ he says.

The Child Can­cer Foun­da­tion has been a great sup­port for the whole fam­ily through­out Hay­ley’s treat­ment, he says.

‘‘They’ve al­ways been there for us from the be­gin­ning – they don’t just con­sider the child go­ing through treat­ment but sib­lings as well.

‘‘They don’t re­ceive gov­ern­ment fund­ing so we just want to give back to them and say thank you.’’

At least three New Zealand chil­dren are di­ag­nosed with can­cer each week.

The foun­da­tion’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Robyn Kid­dle says it aims to re­duce the im­pact of can­cer by of­fer­ing ser­vices that en­sure chil­dren and their fam­i­lies are sup­ported, in­formed and well cared for at ev­ery stage of their jour­ney.

‘‘At any one time we are as­sist­ing around 650 fam­i­lies across the coun­try,’’ she says.

‘‘No two fam­i­lies’ can­cer jour­neys are the same.

‘‘We work to build re­silience in fam­i­lies and as­sist them in a prac­ti­cal way through the many lo­gis­ti­cal, fi­nan­cial, emo­tional and so­cial chal­lenges they may ex­pe­ri­ence.’’


Tough road: Dave Ma­son is run­ning 3000 kilo­me­tres in 365 days in recog­ni­tion of his daugh­ter Hay­ley’s brav­ery through­out can­cer treat­ment.

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