2500km, one pair of feet

TOORA man Craig Tanner knows only too well the endurance children’s cancer patients must have to cope with their exhaustive treatment.

His son Aaron, 11, has been fighting a brain tumour since his diagnosis last September, 2016, and has been in hospital in Melbourne, isolated from his home and his friends while receiving gruelling treatment.

On October 14, Craig will begin a 2500km walk from Queensland to Toora with the goal of raising $250,000 for Ronald McDonald House and pediatric brain cancer research – that’s $1000 a kilometre.

October 14 is also McHappy Day, when McDonalds’ restaurants will raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities Australia.

“My heart and soul is in this. This walk is so much to me. I really want to do this,” he said.

“My emotions have built up. Psychologically, mentally, physically, everything is just going to pour out of me.

“To have that feeling that your child has cancer and to know they might not be there the next day is a very scary place to be.”

Aaron’s diagnosis has upended the lives of the Tanner family.

“One moment you are living the life of a normal family and then within four days your child is getting brain surgery. You think everything around you is going to crash,” Craig said.

“You try to decipher what are the most important things in your life. It’s your family. “

“I’m trying to keep my mind straight for my family and not cry in front of them because if you do that, there is a chance they might give up too.”

Craig will leave the town of Tugun on the Gold Coast – chosen because like Toora, it begins with ‘t’ – and head south, taking the first steps in a journey he believes will take two months.

“It’s a way of walking back to my family,” he said.

“I was lying in bed and I thought what would be something that would be totally out there to get awareness out there about children’s brain cancer and the Royal Children’s Hospital.

“I just want to play my part in trying to do something for the kids.”

He will walk 60km some days. The next he may travel 19.

“On some days I will be pretty much sleeping on the side of the road in my swag,” Craig said, although he is hoping to acquire a mobile home with a reasonable bed.

His former brother-in-law Rodney Spencer, of Casino, New South Wales, will drive, despite being a partial paraplegic after suffering an aneurysm.

Craig is preparing for the challenge by pounding a treadmill, lifting weights and improving his diet. He has been drinking green smoothies for breakfast, eating more chicken and less red meat, and avoiding take-away food.

The Tanner family has been staying at Ronald McDonald House at Parkville while Aaron has been receiving treatment at the Royal Children’s Hospital.

“If it was not for these houses, we would not be together as a family,” Craig said.

“That’s why they need to get recognised.”

  • Anyone wishing to sponsor Craig’s fundraiser can do so on his Facebook page, ‘Craig’s Case for Cancer’.

    Backing children: Craig Tanner will walk 2500km from Queensland to Toora to raise money for Ronald McDonald House and pediatric brain cancer research. His son Aaron, 11, is receiving treatment for brain cancer.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=22131

Posted by on Aug 8 2017. Filed under Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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