In one moment, your family's life can change forever. When news emerges that someone in your family has cancer, it sends shockwaves through the entire household.
Camp Quality is a non-for-profit organisation which has brought optimism and happiness to the lives of children and families affected by cancer since 1983.
Flinders University Student, Lauren Idema (23) experienced first hand the hardships of living with a parent who has cancer. At 12, Lauren found out her mother Julie Idema had a brain tumour. Fast forward 11 years and Julie is still with us today, still a patient but stronger than ever.
It is the strength of her mother and the support of Camp Quality which has inspired Lauren to undertake five half marathons and one full marathon in order to raise $7000 for Camp Quality. "She is my inspiration and drive for running. Without her constant support and encouragement I would not be where I am today. She is proof that miracles do happen. I really hope to gain awareness for camp quality as it is definitely something close to my heart," Lauren said.
Lauren will start her 147 kilometre challenge in Canberra on April 14 where she will run a 21km half marathon. Her journey to the starting gun is all the more inspiring when you consider how far she has come in her fitness. "When I started running I learned that diet is so important. Consuming more whole foods and vegetables now, my body has never felt so good and I've really noticed a training effect. I've completely transformed."
A switch to a vegetarian diet and daily exercise, resulted in Lauren's dramatic transformation at the start of 2012 in which she lost 15 kilos. Lauren has put in the hard yards to becoming an elite marathon runner. "I can't wait to test the limits of my body and my aerobic capacity. Each day my training increases and I really hope I can physically tackle the full 42km marathon."
With the public's support, Lauren is hoping her massive journey around Australia raises awareness about the difficulties families face living with cancer. "Cancer touches our lives in different ways and this is why I think Camp Quality deserves more attention. It's not just for those children suffering from cancer, it helps those surrounded by the 'Big C' to live with it."
So far Lauren has raised $470 for Camp Quality. This is a far distant cry from her goal of $7000, but she hopes once the word gets out people will become inspired by what she is doing and open their hearts and their wallets.
For more information on how to donate please visit Camp Quality.