City2Surf Superstar Fundraiser: Vanessa Plumb

City2Surf Superstar Fundraiser: Vanessa Plumb

In the lead up to City2Surf next month, we talk to Cure Cancer Australia fundraiser Vanessa Plumb on her special reasons for getting involved in this year’s event


Known as the world’s largest fun run, City2Surf brings together more than 80,000 competitive runners and community participants from all over Australia every year, all of whom have different reasons for getting involved.

For primary school teacher Vanessa Plumb, the reason is a very personal one. ‘This is the third time I’ve taken part in City2Surf. The first was when I was twelve years old! I get a real kick out of the challenge - you put in so much hard work training and fundraising in the lead up, and it’s such an amazing accomplishment when you finally finish the course. But most of all I just love the feeling of running a course that my dad used to love so much.’

Losing a Loved One

This month marks ten years since Vanessa’s dad passed away from cancer. He was initially diagnosed with melanoma on his calf when Vanessa was a teenager after a family friend noticed an unusual mole and suggested he get looked at. It was diagnosed, cut out and treated with chemotherapy, but unfortunately the cancer kept coming back. ‘Dad was always out in the sun and probably didn’t use sunscreen as much as he should have,’ says Vanessa. ‘It came back the next time in his groin/hip area, then it went to his lungs until it formed in his brain where it was found to be inoperable.’

‘I don’t know all the details about his surgery because I was so young,’ continues Vanessa. ‘I just remember Dad as a kind and caring person who worked hard at his job, loved to run, listen to music and spend time with his friends and family.’

Ten years on, Vanessa still struggles with her loss. ‘There are days where something brings backs the memories and I’ll break down in tears like it only just happened. It never gets easier; especially when you think of all the things Dad’s missed and will miss in the future. Things like walking his little girls down the aisle.’

The Importance of Research

Nevertheless, her focus is on the future and this year Vanessa will be running City2Surf to raise money for Cure Cancer Australia in memory of her dad. ‘I’m passionate about the work Cure Cancer Australia do and I love that I’m supporting a cause close to my heart. I think anyone who has lost someone to cancer dreams of a world where we can beat the disease once and for all.’

‘We need to support cancer research in order to find a cure. I just hope that more people will get on board to support Cure Cancer Australia so that one day, we can get rid of cancer for good.’

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