City2Surf Superstar Fundraiser: Marty Trescott
As our amazing Team Cure Cancer Australia runners prepare to take to the track at this weekend’s City2Surf, cancer survivor and Cure Cancer Australia fundraiser Marty Trescott shares his incredible reason for taking part.
The world’s largest fun run takes place this Sunday, bringing together more than 80,000 competitive runners and community participants from all over Australia. For some runners, it’s a chance to keep fit, have fun, and maybe even get competitive. But for others, the reasons for getting involved run much deeper.
Primary school teacher Marty Trescott first took part last year, although at the time, he knew little about the event. ‘I went along with a group of friends and immediately loved the fun, supportive atmosphere - we were blown away by the number of people participating,’ he says.
Having been through a very personal experience with cancer as a young teenager, Marty decided that this year, he’d run the City2Surf to raise money for cause very close to his heart. ‘Just before I turned 13, I’d started to suffer from nausea, tiredness and headaches. Nothing major, although I remember I’d been watching a show called All Saints around the same time. There was a character on there who had the same symptoms as me and ended up getting cancer, and that really worried me,’ explains Marty. ‘Then my mum spoke to my nan and she passed on my symptoms to doctor friend of hers. Next thing I knew I was off to Westmead Children’s Hospital for a CT scan.’
Sadly, the news wasn’t good. Marty was diagnosed with a brain tumour on his 13th birthday. ‘I felt bad for the doctor who admitted me as she was only new and was really upset at telling us the news,’ says Marty, who struggled to comprehend the news at such a young age. ‘I had no idea what it meant to have cancer, but my family were so upset so I knew it was serious.’
Luckily, an operation managed to remove 80% of the tumour. However, because of its awkward positioning, the remainder needed to be treated with chemotherapy. ‘From the outset, my surgeon assured me of a good prognosis. He wanted to me stay positive, but it was hard when so many other children around me were suffering immeasurably.’
Marty’s tumour reacted well to the chemo, but as a final precaution against the cancer’s return he then underwent radiation therapy. Happily, this was successful. ‘My last radiation therapy session was maybe 6-8 months after my diagnosis, and my MRI scan showed no signs of cancer. Every birthday since has been a reminder to thank my lucky stars.’
Unusually, Marty has suffered no long-term side effects, although his illness did have an impact on his teenage years. ‘I feel immensely lucky and privileged to be happy and healthy again, but I remember I did have some struggles when I went back to school. I’d missed a fair chunk of Year 8 so I’d fallen behind both academically and socially. It seemed like all of my friends had grown up overnight and were talking about so much stuff I didn’t understand. Plus It was awkward going back with no hair – I ended up getting my roll call teacher to write out a hat permit because I felt so self-conscious.’
16 years on, Marty – who recently married – understands the importance of supporting cancer research more than most. ‘When I was sick, I couldn’t believe the number of young children suffering from cancer. I was old enough to deal with the pain and sickness but I felt horrible for the babies and infants who had no idea why they felt so miserable. I think it’s essential to figure out how cancer starts in the first place and try to prevent it, and I truly believe that cancer research will eventually unlock part of the cancer mystery and save countless lives. With more support, there is hopefully more chance for a cure.’
We would like to express our sincere thanks to Marty for fundraising for Cure Cancer Australia at City2Surf, and for sharing his story with us.