Julia Hammans from Mosman’s WAL1 team has set herself a challenge: running 8 kilometres every 8 hours for 8 days in November. She is doing this to raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research team at the University of NSW, and her reasons are quite touching.
“I chose ovarian cancer research to honour my mum, who we lost to the disease last year. It’s such an under-researched and under-funded cancer with such terrible statistics that I just wanted to help in any way I could, to help prevent families from losing their loved ones.”
Ovarian cancer is the deadliest cancer for Australian women, and this is something that Julia wants to change.
“The statistics have barely changed from the 70s – and unlike many other cancers, there is no way to detect ovarian cancer in its early stages. This means that when it is found, it is often too late, and 51% of those diagnosed will not make it to five years (after detection). It would be such an honour to help change these statistics.”
While it seems like a massive undertaking, this is not Julia’s first experience with either long-distance running or fundraising.
“Last year I participated in a half Ironman event (1.9 km swim, 90 km cycle, 21 km run) where I also raised money for ovarian cancer and raised just under $24,000!”
Given that the total distance Julia runs this month will be almost 200 km (the equivalent of over four and a half marathons!), it’s a good thing that she likes running.
“I’ve always enjoyed running, but mostly as casual exercise. When the soccer season was over I started running more with my extra time and then I came up with this idea – I loved the idea of doing something really mentally and physically challenging, that was also meaningful to the cause.”
Click here if you wish to donate via Julia’s GoFundMe page. At the time of publishing, over $11,000 has been raised – congratulations to Julia on a wonderful achievement.