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Ella Sansom and Dave Parsons share their reasons for getting involved in the upcoming HBF Run for a Reason and fundraising for Cancer Council WA.

Ella’s inspiring fundraising efforts for her 23-year-old sister

Ella Sansom is running in the HBF Run for a Reason to show support for her sister Misty, who was diagnosed in January 2024 with terminal stomach cancer, at only 23 years of age.

Tell us about your sister’s diagnosis.                                                        

“Misty became unwell in late September last year. It began with exhaustion, not being able to keep any food down and severe weight loss. As it progressed, she lost nearly 20 per cent of her body weight in three months.

“My family and myself were absolutely heartbroken and devastated. We had fought for three months to figure out what was going on.

“Terminal cancer was the last thing we expected.”

Why did you decide to do the HBF Run for a Reason and fundraise for Cancer Council WA?

“To show support for my sister and to help raise awareness for cancer in young people. The donations and messages have had a really positive impact, they have made her feel supported and loved by the community.

“I am fundraising for Cancer Council WA because I feel like they do a lot for the community. I feel that the funds are used appropriately in research and supporting families.”

What difference do you hope the money raised will make?

“Raising awareness for cancer in young people, as I feel that it is potentially overlooked. I hope the money I raise can help an individual with cancer or give a family the support they need.”

Dave is walking with his grandson after a personal cancer journey

Dave Parsons is walking 4km in the HBF Run for a Reason after going through his own cancer journey in 2017. He will be joined by his 10-year-old grandson, Toby, who’s dad (Dave’s eldest son) has just been diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Tell us about your personal connection to cancer.

“I was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer in early 2017. It was already metastatic which meant that surgery was not an option, so it was a pretty grim picture at that stage. With the help of two outstanding specialists, I received chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment, which has been very successful so far. I’ve had no treatment for over four years now, but still get quarterly checks and will continue to do so.

“Since we registered, Toby’s father (my eldest son) received a diagnosis for testicular cancer which is still very fresh with all the family.”

Why are you fundraising for Cancer Council WA?

“It was a no brainer for us given our recent history, and also having lost a dear friend to breast cancer several years ago.”

What difference do you hope the money raised will make?

“We hope it will help to continue the massive steps being made to give those affected by cancer a real chance of recovery.”

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