“A marathon doesn’t compare to the challenges of blood cancer”
When Kristy Williams found out her close friend Erin was diagnosed with a rare and acute form of blood cancer, she literally hit the ground running.
Since 2014, Kristy has dedicated her long distance running efforts to her best friend Erin, raising money for the Leukaemia Foundation to support all Australians living with blood cancer, and their families.
In January 2017, Kristy conquered her first marathon.
“When I was about 36kms into it, my legs were burning but all I could think about was Erin and it was nothing compared to the challenges she was facing. My first marathon will stay with me forever but running for a special cause so close to my heart will mean everything to me,” Kristy said.
Only months later, Kristy popped on the running shoes again for Erin, this time in the 2017 Blackmores Sydney Running Festival half marathon.
“I was able to raise more than $1,600, just by reaching out to people on Facebook. Facebook groups like Running Mums Australia were a great channel for my fundraising. Once people read Erin’s story, I was getting donations from people I hadn’t even met before!”
“Erin is one of the strongest people I know. Her courage pushes me on every time I run.”
This year, Kristy will take on an even more difficult challenge on behalf of the Leukaemia Foundation – the Point to Pinnacle half marathon up Hobart’s Mount Wellington. Known as the world’s toughest half marathon, Point to Pinnacle runners face 1270m of ascending gradients above 10% and extreme changes in climate conditions.
“I know this is hard-going, but nothing compared to what Erin has to go through every day,” said Kristy. “If she can endure treatment, then I can do this for her and for others.”
“Erin’s treatment continues today and will do for some time yet (years) but Erin takes it all in her stride. We all hold high hopes that it will be successful, so she can watch her little boy grow into a man.”
Fancy a heart-pounding challenge like Kristy? Visit Get Your Blood Pumping for active fundraising ideas.