When local mother Rachel Skelton gave birth to her beautiful daughter Bella, she didn’t expect to be told six weeks later that Bella had a serious condition that not only couldn’t be treated in Queensland, but one that she’d never even heard of.
Neurofibromatosis (NF) is a genetic disease that causes tumours to grow in and on the body as a result of genetic mutation. It can also cause disfigurement, learning difficulties and an increased risk in the development of cancer, blindness, deafness or loss of limbs. Despite it being relatively common – one in 3,000 babies receive the diagnosis – awareness of NF is low, and Queensland does not currently have a NF clinic or the specialists required to meet the needs of affected children.
In addition, there is currently no cure and a lack of effective treatments for the tumours which continue to grow throughout the lives of those affected.
Rachel is on a mission to change that, and this year she has volunteered to be the race director for Cupid’s Undie Run. Cupid’s Undie Run is a national 1.5km fun run which aims to raise money for the Children’s Tumour Foundation – a not-for-profit organisation and the only one in Australia to fund research and support families of children who have NF. Participants are encouraged to strip down to their knickers and feel a little bit uncomfortable as a show of solidarity for victims of the illness, who often grow tumours on the outside of their bodies.
The event is partnered with Channel 9 and Bonds, and has high profile ambassadors including Libby Trickett, all of whom are aiming to raise both much-needed funds for the foundation and awareness of the illness.
Participants are welcome to wear their undies but are also encourage to dress up (the sillier the better). The day, which will include the run and a party, will be hosted by the Burleigh Surf Life Saving Club. Fantastic prizes will be on offer, including a Webber BBQ.
This event will take place from 12.00pm on Sunday 19 February. Register at cupidsundierun.com.au