Fun run fight for life
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’.’’