Haydn Radford -A freelance writer born in Adelaide, who loves living here. I write about movies, theatre, entertainment, literary and art events. I am happy to promote & review your events. www.weekendnotes.com/profile/121822
A marathon to aid a friend's battle with cancer
"Their target is to raise $50,000. Why not come and cheer them on and support them?"
In the true spirit of mateship a group of mates will team together to conduct a 720 kilometre marathon from Brighton to Port Lincoln to support their mate, Ben Kerslake and his family. The funds raised will be shared between Ben Kerslakes' ongoing medical expenses HERE and the melanoma research in Australia.
On 29 November 2015, the group of 10 will start what they have named their "Mateship Marathon." In a relay they will swim from Brighton to Henley, then for the next four days ride to Arno Bay and finally run to Port Lincoln. The team of volunteers will swim 15 km, ride 585 km and run 120 km in seven days passing through many towns and meeting hundreds of people along the way during their week long marathon adventure.
Robin Carter met Ben in 2003 when they both joined the Mintaro/ Manoora (Min-Man) Football Club in the North Eastern Football League. Robin said, "Prior to being diagnosed with cancer Ben at 32 years was as fit and strong as the proverbial Mallee bull. For 5 years, Ben & I played together at Min/Man and were lucky enough to win a Premiership. We both lived in Adelaide and would spend a couple of hours on a Saturday in the car travelling to and from games."
Ben and Travis have been good friends for about 10 years. Over the last year Ben has seen more of Travis because of his generosity and caring mature. Travis also a good friend with Robin.
The idea of the Mateship Marathon was inspired by Richard Crosby, who 10 years ago kicked and carried a football from Adelaide to Melbourne to raise funds for cancer research after he personally was affected by cancer. Richard has joined the Mateship Marathon along with two others, Sam Schmidt and Mick Barrett. Both of them are no strangers to marathons and such challenges. Sam rode his bike 4,000 kms from Perth to Sydney to raise financial assistance for Assistance Dogs Australia. In 2012, Mick Barrett trekked solo the length of the Mississippi River (USA) raising money for struggling communities in Columbia, where he lived for five years.
During November 2014, while a working as a cabinet maker at the Australian Submarine Corporation (ASC), Ben experienced a dizzy moment along with what seemed to be severe migraine headaches. He was admitted to hospital for tests after he found a lump in his groin and was coughing up blood. This resulted in Ben having to deal with melanoma for the next 12 months.
Ben said, "I was never one to sunbake and try and get a tan. I didn't have a skin cancer. There is a 5% chance tumours can form without skin cancer. All the tumours I had were secondary to something. They were unable to find the primary source of the cancer, but that didn't make any difference as they still had to treat the tumour. If this had happened 5 years ago I wouldn't be here now."
Ben said, "I went for a scan and they told me I had clots on my brain and my lungs. The tumour on my brain was about the size of a golf ball. I was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma. They removed that tumour, which went well. I continued to have radiation therapy and immunotherapy."
Ben said, "The worse day was when I was told the tumour in my lung was still alive. In July 2015, I had a procedure to remove the tumour because the therapy was not working. I am now able to receive a new treatment called Keytruda. This treatment has turned things around for me."
Ben said, "I honestly believe the Keytruda combined with me boosting my immune system through my diet helps my positive outlook. They all contribute to me feeling good. I have been able to make changes in my life and focus on my recovery and get fitter and healthier.
Ben said, "In January, 2015 I went to Ian Gawler's retreat and that is possibly the best thing I could have done. Twenty years ago. Ian Gawler cured himself of cancer through diet and meditation and a plant based food diet. Not that I ate badly before, but I am vegan now and have been since then. It boosts the immune system to fight the cancer , which is the same as the immunotheraphy treatment I am having. I am presently exercising
and running now and I will do as much as I can in the Marathon."
Ben said, "The ASC gave me wonderful support and looked after me so I could focus on recovering, and getting fitter and healthier, but I was needing to recover from surgery and treatment. Today I have my own lawn mowing and gardening business which is helping me keep fit."