Undie Run supports Children’s Tumour Foundation

A Sunday spent in your undies took on a different meaning for those raising money for the Children’s Tumour Foundation.

Cupid’s Undie Run came to Albury for the first time, joining 16 other areas, most metropolitan.

The Noreuil Park event was made possible by Deniliquin’s Meagan Marshall, whose three-year-old son Edward  has neurofibromatosis (NF).

“The foundation raises money for families living with NF type one and two and Schwannomatosis, which are three conditions that are very similar,” she said.

“While my son looks completely normal, he has 10 different specialists that are constantly monitoring him for any changes, to minimise any damage to the nerves.

“Everyone can understand what a nerve pinch is like – imagine having a tumour on it.”

The 10,000 people living with NF in Australia can develop benign tumours called neurofibromas, which grow around the body's nerve cells, including in the spinal cord and brain.

As Ms Marshall was organising Sunday’s event, she was dealing with the news of her son’s first neurofibromas.

“He was diagnosed with an optic pathway glioma, which can lead to blindness, a fortnight ago and then on Friday was diagnosed with a second tumour on his leg, so it’s been a pretty emotional two weeks for us,” she said.

“It’s quite common, but unfortunately the awareness isn’t there.

“Every time we want to go for an MRI or a check up we’re constantly having to educate GPs and nurses about the condition.”

The CTF has helped lift the weight off the family’s shoulders, funding a support group based in Albury, a specialist clinic operating out of the Royal Children’s Hospital and respite weekends.

When approached by the foundation to co-ordinate Sunday’s undie run, Ms Marshall jumped at the opportunity and a group of 50 people raised $15,000 of the $500,000 national goal.

“The slogan is bare all – while it’s uncomfortable to run around in your underwear for a short period of time, it’s nothing compared to living with these conditions,” she said.

“The support from our family, friends and the community, and these sorts of events, make you feel loved.”

It’s hoped the Albury Cupid’s Undie Run, aimed to coincide with the Valentine’s Day weekend, will be an annual event.