She may have been diagnosed 50 years ago, but Tessa Watterson has never forgotten the challenges of battling neuroblastoma.
Tessa was barely three years old when the she was diagnosed. She underwent radiotherapy and chemotherapy over the following three years and has battled the toxic side effects of the treatments ever since.
She had primary ovarian failure at age 16, significant scoliosis for which multiple surgeries have been required and underwent further surgeries to lessen the tumour around her spine. One-third of neuroblastoma survivors have lasting side effects.
Despite her challenges, the retired midwife has defied the odds and led a fulfilling life – and continues to do so!
In 2017, Tessa attended Run2Cure Neuroblastoma with her sister, Becky, who ran the 5km. Tessa had such a great time, that she decided to tackle the three-kilometers herself at Run2Cure 2018. She trained at the gym, walked the dog and had extra physio sessions on her back (where the tumor still exists).
Then, on Sunday June 3 2018, Tessa donned a Wonder Woman cape and participated in the 3km event. Tessa and Becky crossed the finish line in just over 40 minutes!
Tessa will be attending Run2Cure again in 2019 – this time with even more family in tow! Tessa’s younger sister, Kate, will run the 10km, Becky will participate in the 5km, Tessa will once again compete in the 3km and Tessa’s gorgeous 84-year-old mum will do the 1km!
Tessa understands only too well the importance the need for better and safer treatments for neuroblastoma which means more research is required and that means more funding.
In 2018, Tessa was able to raise over $1,000 thanks to the support of her local community (she lives in Kurri Kurri near Newcastle) and aims to raise even more funds in 2019.
We can’t wait to have Super Supporter, Tessa, and her amazing family back at Run2Cure 2020!