When Rio Olympics gold medalist Chloe Esposito received a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for her service to sport after she won Australia's first ever medal in the women's modern pentathlon she vowed it was just the start.
“I see this award as an invitation to do more things for Australia,” she told the Champion at the time.
The 25-year-old is making good on her promise.
The Casula girl is an ambassador for the Run2Cure Neuroblastoma event on June 4.
Neuroblastoma, a solid tumour childhood cancer, is the leading cause of death of children under five.
Chloe was contacted by Neuroblastoma Australia President Lucy Jones to take part in the fun run. Lucy lost her daughter Sienna to the illness in 2010.
“I didn’t know much about neuroblastoma until I spoke to Lucy and after I found out that one in two kids don’t survive – including her daughter – I wanted to be more involved,” she said.
“I want to make a difference. The more people that know about Neuroblastoma Australia, the greater their impact.
“I am really inspired to support the families affected by this awful disease by helping create as much awareness and raising as much money as I possibly can for research into neuroblastoma.”
Recently Chloe met young cancer survivor Isabella White.
After her neuroblastoma diagnosis, Isabella went through multiple tests, scans, blood transfusions, as well as chemotherapy and surgery to remove the majority of a tumour in her abdomen.
“Her weight became a significant hurdle. At her lowest she was eight kilograms and she was placed on TPN – nutrition given intravenously – for four months,” mum Sarah White said.
She has recovered well since then but still has an active tumour remaining in her abdomen, which has been stable in size since 2011.
“Bella now has yearly MRIs to monitor the tumour. And though she is well, there is still the fear that her tumour will start to grow again,” she said.
Isabella and mum Sarah will take part in the Run2Cure event on June 4 from 7am to 1pm at The Domain in Sydney.
The event is a unique fun run for all ages and abilities which includes a 1km Little Heroes Walk for 5-and-unders, where children are encouraged to come dressed as their favourite super hero.
There will also be a timed 3km, 5km and 10km run.
Olympic champion Esposito will take part in the 10km event and said she hoped her involvement would encourage others to register and take part.
The aim is to raise $150,000 for vital research. Since 2012, Run2Cure has raised more than $430,000 for research into neuroblastoma.
Lucy Jones, co-founder and chief executive of Neuroblastoma Australia, said having Chloe on-board will help people understand more about the harrowing disease that took the life of her daughter.
“Having Chloe support Run2Cure means so much – with her involvement, we can increase awareness about neuroblastoma and how critical it is to get more research to help us find a cure for this terrible childhood cancer,” she said.
After a well-earned break, that including getting married to fiance Matt, Chloe is back in full training ahead of the upcoming World Championships and World Cup.
- Details/register: run2cure.org.au.