Alison conquered cancer. Now for Africa’s highest peak.Thursday, February 3. 2011
When New South Wales policewoman Alison Fahey was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 27, it shattered her life the way she knew it. On her own admission, she’s never been the same person since. But it’s taught Alison a lesson she’d like everyone to heed: don’t think cancer can’t affect you, because it doesn’t discriminate. “Good, bad, fat or thin, you or someone you love can get cancer at any time,” she says.
It’s also taught Alison to become more focused and to set goals. That’s one of the reasons she’s set her sights on a challenge of a very different kind: inspiring young Australians to join her on a fundraising climb of
Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro.
From February 10 to 21 next year she’ll be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to raise funds for Australia’s leading cancer research charity. Not only is Alison seeking sponsors, she’s looking for other adventurous Australians to join her on the climb.
Commenting on her efforts, Cure Cancer CEO , Leanne Warner, said, “Alison’s commitment to helping others who are battling cancer now, and those who will face it in future, is an inspiration to us all. She is a remarkable young lady who is determined to ensure her own illness is the catalyst for something good.”
The trip is being organised by travel company Inspired Adventures on behalf of Cure Cancer Australia. To be eligible, participants must reach a fundraising target of $8,500. Of this sum, $5,480 will cover travel expenses and a minimum of $3,020 per person will go to Cure Cancer.
“I felt so sick”
It took Alison 12 months to recover from surgery and radiation treatment. Lying in a small room at Westmead
Hospital’s oncology ward, she “felt so sick I wanted the ground to swallow me whole.”
At the same time she observed people who were even worse off, and had come to hospital to die. So once she’d recovered, she decided to make the most of every opportunity in her life.
“If you’ve had cancer, its always at the back of your mind,” says Alison, a detective senior constable attached to the Auburn local area command in Sydney. “You never know if it’s gone away for good or if it’s coming back.” Alison walked the Kokoda Trail in 2006 and has since completed two half marathons and four ocean swims to raise over $3,500 for cancer research. Despite everything she’s been through, she believes cancer has allowed her to “shine brighter” and was “the kick in the bum” she needed.
She urges everyone who can help to support the climb (climb). “It’s going to be an awesome trip,” she says. “If you can help prevent one person going through what I went through, you’ll be doing something truly fantastic.”
Race for a Cure
Meanwhile Cure Cancer Australia is looking for more adventurers to join another fundraising journey, Race for a Cure, which starts on November 6 this year. This trip, for which participants need to raise a minimum of $7,000, involves four days of cycling and six days of trekking through Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. Cure Cancer Australia board member Ian Dear will be joining the group. “We’d love to get more people involved,” Ian says. “It’s not too daunting and you’re given lots of help with fundraising and training. Everything you need is provided for you.” Inspired Adventures
Cure Cancer Australia Foundation has directed over $13 million of vital seed funding to national cancer research. In 2010, it’s providing 16 one-year grants of $90,000 each to young post-doctoral researchers with fresh approaches across all areas of cancer research.
For more information please visit www.cure.org.au