Mercury (Hobart)

Cancer survivor on a marathon fundraiser

- CHANEL KINNIBURGH

A HOBART Hodgkin’s lymphoma survivor will run 10 races in nine months to raise much-needed funds for families fighting cancer.

Rachel Ford, of Old Beach, was diagnosed with the rare blood cancer in October 2017.

She faced four months of intense chemothera­py, four weeks of radiation, six surgeries and several other procedures before the cancer went into remission in August 2018. The 22-year-old is now testing her fitness to raise $25,000 for Redkite, a national charity providing support to children and young people with cancer, and the families and support networks who care for them.

Ms Ford and her partner Chris Atkins will kick off their 10-race challenge with the 5km Run the Bridge event on February 23, and finish with the Point to Pinnacle half-marathon in November.

“I went to the doctor thinking I had a cold and was told I had lymphoma,” Ms Ford said. “I struggled to walk up the stairs in my house. Now I feel the best I’ve felt in quite a few years.”

With the average annual cost for Redkite to support one family through their child’s cancer being $2500, Ms Ford’s fundraisin­g goal would pay it forward tenfold.

“Redkite provided my family with grocery and fuel vouchers throughout my treatment, and offered practical financial support by paying electricit­y bills that I simply couldn’t afford,” she said.

Redkite CEO Monique Keighery said she was inspired by Ms Ford’s ambition to help others whose lives had been turned upside-down by a cancer diagnosis.

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