Take a moment to think about our hospitals, surgeons, nurses, researchers, and many other teams of healthcare professionals who are working tirelessly each day to help save and improve lives. In them we seek trust, stability, compassion and hope.
For me, on the 9th September 2010 I sought most, if not all these things – this date will stay with me forever as the worst day of my life.
On this day I found myself in the Sydney Children’s hospital in Randwick, for 6hrs, and as the hours ticked over more and more of the medical teams gathering and looking my way. I knew that something was not right. I was taken inside room and was told my 7 year old son Cooper …..had cancer.
My life, my family’s life, changed forever.
For the next 2 years we lived within the hospital environment for weeks and months on end. Surgery, chemo, radiation, stem cell transplants, blood tests, it went on and on. Then there was the waiting.
Throughout this journey, we had to trust the nurses, the Drs and the treatment protocols (old and new).
We needed to make choices, some difficult and all needed to trust our Doctors, their experience and their research that build on the success and failures of what had gone before us. It was tough, bloody tough.
What was important to me, and our family, reinforced itself in different, new ways.
Throughout that time and ever since, I have felt compelled to do more. There was something inside me that needed to do more. But the time needed to be right.
As we have continued to progress through remission (Cooper is now 16 and 6 years in remission) we are acutely aware that many kids and their families don’t have this fortune. We have to do more.
I've had a desire to create an event that challenges, endures, raises awareness and ultimately make a difference to impact the future – the future of our Kids.
My family is the most precious thing in the world.
My wife Lisa and I are incredibly fortunate to have 2 thriving children in Cooper (16) now in year 11 at High School, Tahlia (19) at University studying to be a paramedic. Many families that have gone, and continue to go, through cancer, can not say the same.
The situations we have endured together, the experiences we share and the strength that we continue to build are the reasons why I connect to a goal of making a difference.
You can’t predict the future but you can create it and a better future can be achieved.
I feel confident in organisations striving to make the outcomes for Kids with Cancer better than they are today.
What have I decided to do to make a difference?
In the month of September, Childhood Cancer Awareness month, I will conduct a physical challenge that I will call “The Bloody Long Day”. This will involve physical endurance across the 3 sports that make up the sport that I love – Triathlon.
On Friday the 6th September 2019 I will swim 3hrs and then cycle and run alternately for the next 21hours, making it a 24hr continuous Ultra Triathlon event.
Why The Bloody Long day?
When we, along with many others, spent time in the hospitals kids cancer wards day and night you often feel like you’ve had a “Bloody Long Day” and I often said it. Whilst not enduring anywhere near what the Kids with Cancer have to endure throughout their treatment, in some small way my hope is that this event can generate awareness to the endurance required to stick at something long enough to make a difference. To that point I am inspired by the work of The Kids' Cancer Project and wanted to support them by raising money as part of my participation in Community Fundraising through “The Bloody Long Day” 24hr Ultra Triathlon event.
Please help me help them by giving whatever you can by heading to https://charityfundraiser.everydayhero.com/au/markpacey_TheBloodyLongDay using the 'Give Now' button.
The more people that know about The Kids' Cancer Project, the greater their impact, so please also spread the word by sharing my page with your friends and family.
Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot, lets make a difference!