This week Cure Cancer fundraiser, Ashley Druve, shares his cancer journey with us and talks about his inspiring initiative: Project 444.4
There’s the age old saying that things can happen in the ‘blink of an eye’, and Cure Cancer supporter Ashley Druve knows this better than most.
It was in December 2015 that Ashley found himself waking up on his office floor, unsure of how he got there. A few hours later in the emergency room, the unimaginable occurred - he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroendrocrine Cancer, a rare cancer that can spread throughout the body.
After receiving life-saving surgery to remove as many tumours as possible from his body, Ashley decided to set himself the goal of completing an Ultramarathon. “I’ve continuously strived to return to a level of fitness I enjoyed before cancer,” he says.
For weeks he trained, determined to accomplish what he had set out and even after abdominal surgery in 2016, he was excited to return to his surgeon’s office with a winner’s grin and the race bib in his hand. To this day, the bib still hangs proudly on his surgeon’s office wall.
However, two year later circumstances had changed and Ashley’s body struggled to keep up with his running. With news from his oncologist that there was little more that could be done for his cancer treatment, his running days looked like a thing of the past. But for Ashley, giving up wasn’t an option and instead he persevered, running every day throughout September 2018.
After finding out that every four minutes, one Australian is diagnosed with cancer, an idea sparked, and Ashley knew exactly what his next goal would be – Project 444.4.
For the month of February 2019, Ashley has committed himself to running over 444.4km and is inviting others to get involved. “Project 444.4 is about encouraging people with and without cancer to get moving, and to raise money for cancer research in the process. It hurts getting the kms required in, but I am getting there. Some days are slower, others feel a little better.”
WHY DONATE TO CANCER RESEARCH?
As Ashley explains, “During the process of my treatment, I have received the benefits of experimental treatments, innovative scans and been part of many research studies which have pushed ahead treatments for cancer patients. The tools used to allow my doctors to diagnose me, the treatments they prescribed for me, and indeed their training, all began with research, and research never stops. I could never repay all those individuals who have helped me, however Project 444.4 is one way I can give back, and help fuel further research that could help you, your loved ones, or those yet to come.”
Currently, Ashley has ran 369km of his 444.km goal. You can support him by making a donation and helping raise awareness for the importance of cancer research.