Run to champion cause

Top: Danita Plozza, Alkira Buti, Bill Wad, Tony Buti, Fay Ward, Joanna Watson and Paris Buti training. |Above: Rachael Doherty. |Main picture: Matt Jelonek d419506
Top: Danita Plozza, Alkira Buti, Bill Wad, Tony Buti, Fay Ward, Joanna Watson and Paris Buti training. |Above: Rachael Doherty. |Main picture: Matt Jelonek d419506

The run is in honour of Rachael Doherty, who died of Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2011 at the age of 25 after battling the disease for eight years.

After undergoing extensive treatment options in Perth to stop the cancer, Rachael and her family ended up flying to Melbourne on an almost fortnightly basis for more sophisticated treatment, which increased her chances of survival.

After a long battle, she eventually succumbed to pneumonia caused by the effects of cancer.

Her parents Rob and Susi Doherty and fiance Matthew Peach established the Rachael Doherty Foundation after she died, which aims to provide the best treatment, support and facilities to cancer patients and families in Western Australia.

Rachael’s story reached Dr Buti not long after he had been in office, when he received a letter inviting politicians to the official launch of the foundation.

‘I read through Rachael’s story which was incredibly sad,’ he said.

‘I’d been thinking for some time to hold a run at Champion Lakes with a charity aspect.’

After meeting with Rachael’s parents and her fiance, Dr Buti decided to establish Rachael’s Run.

It had a good turnout in its first year in 2012, with close to 250 people participating in the 5km or 10km run/walk.

Last year, more than 300 people took part and raised about $10,000 for the Rachael Doherty Foundation.

Dr Buti is hoping for a bigger turnout this year and ultimately wants it to become a flagship run in WA.

For the past two years, Dr Buti has also run a longer course to raise greater awareness for the foundation.

This year he will run 35km from Rachael’s home in North Perth to Champion Lakes.

He is also holding a weekly training group to help people prepare for the run, whether they are serious competitors or just want to participate.

If you are interested in registering for the Rachael Doherty Fun Run or donating, visit www.rachaeldohertyfoundation.org/events/events.

Dr Buti is also available to offer advice about training if people cannot make his group training sessions.