20 September 2021
Braidwood local Leona Coleman is running 72km throughout September in support of Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and to start an important conversation about men’s health.
Mrs Coleman has taken on the challenge as part of Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia’s annual awareness and fundraising campaign, The Long Run, which calls on communities to run, walk or wheel 72km to support men impacted by prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Australian men, claims more than 3,000 lives a year, and can have lifelong impacts on those affected and their families.
Mrs Coleman said she was inspired to sign up in honour of her dad who has been battling an aggressive form of prostate cancer for the past seven years.
“Dad was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer at 60. A disease there is no cure for and we are thankful everyday he is able to walk with us,” she said.
“Through his participation in clinical trials dad has been able to extend and achieve a quality of life otherwise not possible with this aggressive form of cancer.
“While this may not be the path for everyone, and trials being exactly that, an experiment, dad has hopefully been a part of something that will help so many other men down the line.”
Mrs Coleman said her The Long Run team, Soldier on Sol, made up of family and friends has raised more than double their fundraising goal.
“The support of family and friends has been inspirational and we are hopeful that our commitment to this challenge will raise important awareness about men’s health,” she said.
“My parents are at an age where they should be enjoying life but it has been interrupted by constant treatment and check-ups.
“It’s very tough to witness and the emotional strain has been enormous on the whole family.
“Awareness and early detection is key to give you the best possible outcome. Don’t ever think you are too young to be getting the relevant check-ups.
“I hope the community will get behind me this September and start an important conversation about men’s health.”
People can join Mrs Coleman’s The Long Run team ‘Soldier on Sol’ or make a donation at thelongrun.org.au/fundraisers/SoldieronSol/the-long-run-2021
New participants and teams can register in one easy step via thelongrun.org.au.
PCFA CEO Professor Jeff Dunn AO said many families in the local community were facing prostate cancer right now and needed special care and support.
“This year’s campaign for Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, with the theme ‘Together for the long run’, aims to show our solidarity and raise vital funds so that men in the local area have access to life-saving clinical trials and Prostate Cancer Specialist Nurses,” he said.
“Make no mistake – we need to step up now, with the number of men diagnosed expected to increase by as much as 60 per cent over future years.
“Without community involvement in Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and campaigns such as The Long Run, we simply will not be able to meet the growing demand for PCFA services and programs.
“We would love to see the community come together for the long run in 2021, taking action throughout Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.
“I’d urge all families to run for the ones they love and help love go the distance.”
More than 3,000 people are expected to join The Long Run campaign this year in the hope of raising $1.6 million for prostate cancer research and specialist nurses.
If you or someone you know needs the care of a PCFA Specialist Nurse, please call 1800 22 00 99.
PCFA media contact: Laura McKoy | M. 0435 094 788