The West

Family run for mum�s new start
Craig and Evana Willis. Picture: Michael O'Brien/The West Australian

Evana Willis' eyes fill with tears when she remembers her embrace with husband Craig after he crossed the HBF Run for a Reason finish line last year.

When Mr Willis finished the 12km race, just two weeks after his wife's final treatment for a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer, it symbolised what her family hoped would be a fresh start.

After feeling helpless during his wife's cancer treatment, Mr Willis raised $15,000 for breast cancer sufferers - the most raised by a runner in the event last year - and started a fundraising campaign that would raise more than $39,000 during the next 12 months.

"I still get emotional thinking about it, I think for Craig that's all he could do at the time," Mrs Willis said.

"He couldn't do the treatment and he couldn't help me physically and that was kind of his way of giving back. The treatment was over, his run was done and we were going to move on so that was a pretty nice hug."

One tough year later, Mrs Willis has marked her first year as "nil without disease" and is a step closer to the five-year milestone when the risk of the cancer returning will fall dramatically.

She will join Mr Willis and their four children, Kate, Nikita, Liam and Joel, in the HBF Run for a Reason 4km walk on Sunday.

"I think for the most part, people want that fairytale ending," she said.

"You want to have that faith and that belief but the reality is it's much, much harder than that and it's not that fairytale - it's something we live with every day."

The mental battle after her treatment is the reason the family feels strongly about continuing to raise money for Breast Cancer Care WA, which relies on donations to help provide counselling to breast cancer sufferers, as well as help paying bills.

The West Australian

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