By Tricia Mifsud
In 2015, Kilmore teenager Zane Collier died from osteosarcoma; a type of cancer that begins in the cells that form bones, most commonly in the long bones of the leg.
Ostersarcamo is a bone cancer that can metastasise; meaning it will spread to other organs, limbs and lymph nodes.
Nearly six years on from Zane’s passing, his close mate Zac Pettit realised that still to this day, few people actually know what osteosarcoma is.
Mr Pettit has since created a not-for-profit organisation T2KO: It’s time to know osteosarcoma.
“I wanted Zane’s legacy to live on in a big way. Last year I decided that I wanted to do more,” he said.
“I actually forgot what the disease was called, which I felt so guilty about. But once knowing again it was osteosarcoma, and having watched Zane go through it, I wanted to give out the facts and information about it. I wanted to research more into it.”
To kick off fundraising for osteosarcoma, Mr Pettit came up with the idea to run a series of ultramarathons that would allow him to spread the word on the disease far and wide.
The idea of running marathons was also his way of partially understanding what Zane and others diagnosed with osteosarcoma go through daily.
“Osteosarcoma affected Zane in his leg, and then it went to his lungs. He lost his ability to walk, then to breathe and that was how I got the idea to run the marathons,” Mr Pettit said.
“Running pushes my boundaries. I’ll feel it in my legs and in my breathing over the long distance and running the excessive kilometres will get people’s attention.”
Over four weekends, Mr Pettit ran a total 214 kilometres, along with Zane’s Team, starting with a slightly smaller marathon length, and each week increasing the number of kilometres.
The first marathon stretched 42 kilometres from South Morang to Brighton. The second involved Mr Pettit and other participants running the perimeter of Assumption College’s Carroll Oval for a total of 48 kilometres.
For the third marathon, the group participated in the Great Ocean Road Run Fest, a total of 60 kilometres, before the final marathon, where their limits were tested for the 64 kilometres from Essendon to the finish line at Assumption.
T2KO has raised over $30,000 to donate to the Australia and New Zealand Sarcoma Association.
People who would like to make a donation can visit mycause.com.au/p/245391/t2ko.
To find out more about T2KO, including becoming a sponsor, participating in future events or purchasing merchandise, visit the Instagram page instagram.com/t2ko__/