By Oliver Lees
Sunbury resident Annette Robson will participate in her first running event next week, in memory of her son, who died from testicular cancer.
Ms Robson will be lacing-up for the 2021 Kieser Great Ocean Road Running Festival on Sunday, May 16, to spread awareness of testicular cancer and raise funds for cancer research.
Ms Robson’s son, Matty, died in September 2018 at 29 years of age after 12 months of chemotherapy.
A community of Matty’s closest friends and family have participated in running events for several years under the banner #WeRunForMatty, but this will be the first time Matty’s mother will be joining in.
At 61 years of age, she said she didn’t want to stand on the sideline anymore.
“I’ve never run in my life,” she said.
“But everybody’s doing it, even the kids, and I’m always the one staying on the sideline.
“It’s not my thing but I want to give it a go, it’s never too late to try.”
With the starting line in Lorne, the running festival includes a range of distances from an ultra marathon, to a 6.5-kilometre circuit, which Ms Robson will take part in.
Ms Robson said for her, the event is not a race, but an opportunity to raise awareness for an illness that can be misunderstood.
“Matty’s symptoms were very minimal when he was diagnosed with stage four [testicular cancer],” she said.
“No matter what the symptoms, get yourself checked.”
According to the Cancer Council, testicular cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer, after skin cancer, among young men aged 20–39.
You can donate to the #WeRunForMatty GoFundMe with all proceeds going toward the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute at: www.gofundme.com/f/54t2p-werunformatty?utm_campaign=p_cp_url&utm_medium=os&utm_source=customer