Cancer fundraising run inspires

25 August 2015

A Japan-based fundraiser for the New Zealand Cancer Society has inspired a cancer battler’s teenagers to swap selfies for running shoes.

Caroline Steer, a former Matamata resident, said it was ‘‘upsetting, but a good upsetting’’ to see Japanese people support a Kiwi cause.

The June 8 run was organised by another former Matamata resident, Vanessa Oshima, after her running supported Caroline with her fight against cancer.

It was Oshima’s 1000th run and she has continued to run every day.

Caroline’s teenagers Tyler and Connor [Year 12 at St Paul’s Colleigate School] also ran in the Japan event. Tyler helped her mum train but she ran with the leading pack while Caroline ‘‘was at the other end’’ during the event.

Tyler was a novelty during their week in Japan. ‘‘In Japan they age well so 16, 17-year-olds were shocked when she said she was 15 as they thought she looked older,’’ Caroline said.

Afterwards Tyler and Connor challenged themselves to 50 days of running to raise awareness of cancer because of their mum’s cancer experience. Oshima said ‘‘most teenagers I know are busy taking selfies, not running for cancer’’.

The teenagers hit the 50 day mark on July 27 and kept going. Connor’s mates ‘‘think I’m a robot’’. He is preparing for the Tokyo marathon. ‘‘He’s got the bug and has to keep going,’’ Caroline said. Connor had also been involved in Shave for a Cure since he was 10.

Vanessa and Caroline are planning a hike for hope or a fun run in October.

The Japan event raised $8502.55. They want to get to $10,000. Donate at