Family to rally around breast cancer survivors at annual fun run

Published 12:00pm 25 February 2023

Family to rally around breast cancer survivors at annual fun run
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

A record 20,000 people are set to turn Brisbane into a sea of pink next month for the upcoming International Women’s Day Fun Run to help raise money for breast cancer research.

The 5km fun will be held on Sunday, March 12, with runners, joggers and walkers set to pound the pavement from South Brisbane across the Story Bridge and back to the city’s Botanical Gardens.

One person who will be taking part in the fundraising event is breast cancer survivor Susan Murray.

The 70-year-old from Kippa-Ring underwent a mastectomy at Mater Hospital Brisbane 10 years ago and is now in remission.

Susan will be joined by a team of more than 10 family members, including her niece Cinnamon Watson, who was also diagnosed with breast cancer.

Both women are passionate about supporting others living with the disease.

Susan says seeing her niece diagnosed with the same disease as her was “very hard”.

“I am one of the lucky ones. To see my niece, a warrior princess diagnosed with the same disease and know what path was in front of her was very hard on all of us,” Susan said.

“Cinnamon has three children, and she was very brave during her treatment.”

Cinnamon was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018 and has undergone a double mastectomy and several rounds of chemotherapy.

The 49-year-old from Morningside says she is grateful for her parents and husband who were by her side every step of the way.

“My kids were 18, 14 and 12 when I was diagnosed,” Cinnamon says.

“We are a very close family unit, so it was hard for them to see me so unwell, lose my hair and all the other things that come with breast cancer.

“But on the plus side, they got to see the inherent good in human nature as our friends and community rallied behind us.”

Both ladies will make up team ‘Murray Mafia’ during the event.

Susan said it was “heartwarming” to know all the money donated would go towards improving the care and treatment of women with breast cancer through enhanced services, new equipment and ground-breaking medical research.

Family to rally around breast cancer survivors at annual fun run

How you can help

Tickets to the International Women’s Day Fun Run, presented by National Storage, sold out in just four weeks.

However, if you would like to help raise money for the Mater Foundation’s biggest fundraising event of the year, you can host and complete a virtual fun run in your own community.

Across the state, almost 3000 participants have already signed up to take part in the virtual event, with teams running in Townsville, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Mackay, the Gold Coast, Toowoomba and Redlands.

Virtual events can be completed anytime between March 6-12.

For more information on organising a virtual event in your neighbourhood, click here.

Bigger and better every year

Mater Foundation Chief Executive Officer Andrew Thomas says the fun run has been a much-loved event for more than 30 years, and has been expanded to allow all Queenslanders to participate regardless of where they live.

“The response from the community this year has been overwhelming,” Andrew says.

“We’re delighted that 20,000 Queenslanders will be joining the sea of pink in Brisbane this year and another 2900 will be running in their own virtual events.”

The number of participants is up this year from the 2021 event, which was capped at 13,500 people.

Last year’s fun run was cancelled due to the 2022 Brisbane floods, but fundraisers and virtual runners still managed to raise an incredible $1.75 million.

This year, organisers are hoping to beat that figure, which will help more women fighting breast cancer.

“This year we’re hoping to raise more than $1.75 million to provide personalised support services and state-of-the-art equipment to better diagnose and treat parents, as well as investing in life-saving breast cancer research at Mater,” Andrew explains.

“Please join us and show women with breast cancer that we’re right beside them during their most difficult time.”

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