Fun run fight for life

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

If any­one’s story is go­ing to in­spire you to get off the couch and do some ex­er­cise, and live your life to the fullest, it’s Jon Pa­heto­gia’s.

The Aotea man will be on the start line of his first Porirua Grand Tra­verse fun run on April 7 and is hop­ing to put in a good time over the 7.5km.

Mr Pa­heto­gia ap­pears fit and healthy, but he has an in­op­er­a­ble brain tu­mour, di­ag­nosed last July af­ter he be­gan suf­fer­ing headaches, vom­it­ing and loss of co-or­di­na­tion.

‘‘They couldn’t find any­thing wrong at the start, but I could tell some­thing was wrong and then an MRI showed a tu­mour. The doc­tors put me in for an op­er­a­tion straight away but they could not get near it. So it’s still there,’’ he says.

A prog­no­sis is ex­pected later this month fol­low­ing a scan. For a 43-year-old with chil­dren aged 4, 8 and 16, it has all come as an in­cred­i­ble shock.

‘‘We [he and wife Josie] just looked at each other and said, ‘what the heck?’ The two young boys don’t really un­der­stand what’s go­ing on, they’re just get­ting on with life.’’

Which is what Mr Pa­heto­gia is do­ing too. He is not al­lowed to drive and his me­mory isn’t the best, but he still works part-time.

He keeps up his reg­u­lar walks up the Colo­nial Knob steps and he re­cently took part in the Round the Bays, com­plet­ing the 7km run in 42 min­utes.

‘‘I really want to keep the fit­ness go­ing and ev­ery­one – from neph­ews, nieces, brother, sis­terin-law – takes part.

‘‘I’m lucky, be­cause you see some peo­ple at ra­di­a­tion treat­ment who have one per­son there for sup­port, some have none. I have a whole fam­ily to help me, right from the start, they take turns coming to the treat­ments with me.’’

Mr Pa­heto­gia is de­ter­mined to keep test­ing him­self while he still can. ‘‘I won’t be liv­ing if I stop all that, I’m not go­ing to sit at home and dwell on it, say­ing, ‘I’m sick, I’m sick’.’’

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