The concept of Smiddy Fun Week, where participants can walk, run, swim or cycle at a time and place of their choosing during Skin Cancer Action Week means Danica Cossio can take part for the first time in a Smiddy event.
The annual Smiddy Fun Run which raises money for skin cancer research in honour of PA Physiotherapist Adam Smiddy who passed in 2006 from Melanoma, transformed into the virtual Smiddy Fun Week concept so that participants could raise funds while remaining Covid safe.
And while some keen runners will miss the chance to compete on the usual Smiddy Fun Run course around the PA Hospital, Danica is looking forward to taking part in her first ever charity fundraising event.
Smiddy participant Danica Cossio, who is part of the Cancer Alliance Smiddy Team for the first time this year
"This is my first year. Previously I was unable to participate as I have young children and school drop off prevented me from participating," she said.
"I love the concept because it means I can still participate but with the benefit of being able to fit it in around my busy work and life schedule.
"To be honest, I have previously been on the donating side of charity, I am really excited about actively participating this time."
Danica will pound the pavement around her home suburb of Carindale and is taking on the biggest of the set challenges, 75kms or 30 laps of the original Smiddy Fun Run course. This huge effort amounts to 99,000 steps in total Danica will complete across the seven days.
Danica is undertaking her first ever Smiddy event as part of the Cancer Alliance team who have already raised more than $1177 towards their total. The Cancer Alliance Smiddy team consists of a number of colleagues from the PA Hospital-based Cancer Alliance Queensland, where Danica is a manager.
"Cancer Alliance Queensland consists of a group of dedicated specialists including statisticians, epidemiologists, software developers, project managers, and expert clinical coders. We are dedicated to improving outcomes for persons with cancer," she said.
Having worked in the cancer space in her current role and others for two decades plus Danica has seen the impact skin cancers can have on patients and their families and will use her experiences as part of her motivation to not only complete her challenge but raise crucial funds for research.
"It is vital to drive research in this space. Queensland is the melanoma capital of the world, we have a very high incidence and we need to progress prevention and better treatments for people experiencing skin cancer," she said.
The Carindale resident said joined by her children she will take on her 75kms on the walking and cycling tracks in her suburb, ensuring that each everyone will be dressed in sun-smart clothing and wearing sunscreen. Danica said she had a simple message to anyone who donated to her first ever charity effort.
"I am really grateful to those who have donated to our team fundraising. I also hope it is a reminder to all of us on the importance of looking after our skin including actively checking for changes."
Donate to help Danica achieve her fundraising goals here.