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Leigh-Ann Munro

$518 of AUD $500 target.

Raised by 0 people in days for Cure Brain Cancer Foundation

Invictus Legatum: Running for Mark Munro

Story

Hey lovely people

 

Indulge me for a moment and imagine your life at the age of 30 --what do you see? Maybe you're happily settled with 2.5 kids? Maybe you're up for a big promotion? Or maybe like so many others, you're still settling into 'you' and figuring out this whole 'life' thing.

For my big brother, the latter was the case.

Mark John Munro- He wandered through life for some time in his twenties, trying his hand at the odd job knowing none were truly the right fit. So eventually, he decided it was time be brave and take a chance on himself. He enrolled in University.

Once he'd made up his mind, you could almost see the fire of determination burning behind his eyes. He put his all into study whilst still working full time – armed with a calendar and whiteboard- it was hard not to be in awe of his determination, his dedication. Like a force of nature, he didn't let anything stand in the way of meeting his goals. Everything seemed to be coming together -so, naturally... the other shoe dropped.

When he finally went to see the doctor for recurring headaches he’d put down to stress, it was easy to forget that those serious illnesses, the ones only 1 in a Million have.
Well…The One has to come from somewhere.

Stage 3 Anaplastic Oligoastrocytoma- sounds scary and super medical, right?
Sounds even worse when you put it simply.
Brain Cancer.
 

I still remember seeing him in the hospital bed for the first time- weird plastic spots on his then shaved head, IV drip in his arm, hospital gown, yet even with all that- a big smile on his face.

He had surgery to remove most of the baseball-sized tumour, and radiation therapy to shrink the leftovers. After it was all said and done, he walked away with a ‘neat’ scar and a 10yr prognosis.
He got three.

After that, he threw himself back into his studies, going further with a Masters Degree, multiple internships while still holding down his part-time job AND tutoring other students. He went skydiving for the first time, shipped off on a cruise with his fiancée, worked on his health and fitness. The dust settled and blinded as I was, I soon forgot the sickness that lay beneath the surface.
I never really believed I'd actually lose my brother.

But the countdown Was set, the clock ticking, and three years later...

It's pretty safe to say the majority of us would like to go out of this world peacefully, with the capacity to say goodbye to the ones we love. After not 1, but 2 strokes, my brother had become wheelchair bound and slowly had lost the ability to speak-- he didn't get to say Goodbye.

 

Before all this started, I had no idea how gruelling it would be to witness. As my brother so aptly put it, 'Losing your body is one thing, losing yourself is another.' But my brother and our family are nowhere near the only ones to suffer. More than 1,200 Australians die from Brain Cancer every year. Think that's not a lot? Google '1000 dots' in google images. Then remember that each of those dots knows at least, say, 40 people - colleagues, friends, family, doctor, etc. So now we're looking at more than 40,000 people who have been connected to someone with Brain Cancer. As much as we've all suffered, we're far from alone.

The Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is the largest Australian research group aimed at getting new treatments to patients faster. Just a few months ago they started a trial for a new drug aimed at combating the Glioblastoma (his final diagnosis), the most common and lethal type of tumour - for the mere sum of $500,000- And that's for a trial of just 12 people. Imagine the costs they face trying to fund their research and bring these new treatments to the public.

 

I never would've believed there can be a silver lining in Death, but my brother has left a legacy that's touched the lives of every single person who knew him, including Me.

 

And that’s how I got here. Signing up for my first 5K Colour Run, changing my study direction, breaking down my own barriers and saying F*** You to fear.
I’ve chosen to take a chance on myself, fight fear, and strive to be the very best version of me. These are the lessons he taught me, and his most important lesson of all...

Semper Invictus.
Always Undefeated.

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Cure Brain Cancer Foundation

Cure Brain Cancer Foundation is the largest dedicated fundraiser for brain cancer research in Australia. Our mission is bold: to increase five-year survival to 50% within 10 years. www.curebraincancer.org.au

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Leigh-Ann Munro

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