Auckland woman to run 12 half marathons in 2021 for breast cancer
A woman from Mt Albert, Auckland, is planning to run a half marathon every month this year to raise funds for Breast Cancer Foundation NZ, in memory of her mum who died in 2019.
Nadine France, who is 38, has been running for 15 years and has completed a number of races in that time. Keen to set herself a new challenge, Nadine’s now wanting to recognise and celebrate the resilience and strength of women who have been through breast cancer, like her mum Laural.
Laural was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, at the age of 56. She went through multiple surgeries, radiation therapy and hormone treatment, but in 2016 learnt the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes, liver, kidney and bones. Faced with the terminal diagnosis of advanced breast cancer, Laural managed to stay well for over two years. But sadly, by March 2019 treatments were no longer working for her and she passed away.
“Mum would be absolutely shocked by this challenge, but I think she’d also be proud because she was someone who gave a lot and cared about women prioritising their health,” Nadine said.
“Running is something I really enjoy but so much of it for me is mental because you go through a journey in each race, so doing 12 races in a year will be tough. I think this will be part of my healing process, it’s a purposeful way for me to channel my grief into doing something positive. When mum was in her final days people were so kind, so it’s important for me to give back in some way.
“I’m supporting Breast Cancer Foundation NZ because I learnt through Mum’s experience that there’s still so much to uncover about breast cancer and treatment, and we massively need to see more funding for research. I also want women, particularly those around my age, to know that breast cancer can happen to anyone, of any age, so we all need to be doing self-checks.”
Having already tackled the 8th Continent Half Marathon at Auckland Domain earlier this month, Nadine’s now aiming to knock off 11 more races around the country – one a month for the rest of this year.
“I’m really looking forward to taking myself outside of my comfort zone and also seeing more of the country – running is a great way to see the places you wouldn’t otherwise go. And if I can raise $2000 to $4000 along the way I’ll be thrilled,” added Nadine.
“Nadine’s taking on an impressive feat and we’re inspired by her determination,” said Breast Cancer Foundation NZ chief executive Evangelia Henderson.
“In the time it takes Nadine to complete her challenge, more than 3,300 Kiwi women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and tragically, around 650 women will die. We’re so grateful for Nadine’s fundraising efforts, which will go towards our vital work in research, awareness and patient support. With more investment, our vision of zero deaths from breast cancer will sooner become a reality,” she said.