• Wayne McGrath aims to run a marathon in every state and territory around the country, while raising funds for breast cancer research. ((Image: Supplied))Source: (Image: Supplied)
Wayne McGrath lost his mother to breast cancer four years ago. To honour her memory, the 43-year-old is in the midst of running a marathon in every state and territory around the country, while raising funds for breast cancer research.
By
Kris Flanders

Source:
NITV News
10 Sep 2015 - 12:55 PM  UPDATED 10 Sep 2015 - 2:26 PM

TRANSCRIPT 

Kris Flanders: When Wayne McGrath lost his mother to breast cancer four years ago he thought of ways that he might be able to honour her memory and also raise funds for research into breast cancer.

Now, the 43 year old, is doing something extraordinary and inspirational that does both.

I was privileged to enough to catch up with Wayne for this yarn.

Kris Flanders: Wet weather on an otherwise idyllic beach is not the setting that most people would find running in the most enjoyable thing to do. But Wayne McGrath is certainly not most people.

Rain, hail and shine he'll be out on the beach or pounding the pavement - and it's all in the name of love.

Wayne McGrath: [She was] a very kind natured woman: shy by nature, a very loving, warm-hearted woman and no one said a bad word about her. It’s really moved me the fact that this horrible disease has taken mum away: a loving mum who wouldn’t hurt anybody. 

Kris Flanders: Wayne says when it came time to do something to honour his mum, Cheryl, marathon running wasn't the first thing that entered his mind. But as he thought about what his mother went through battling breast cancer - marathon running seemed like the perfect fit for him.

Wayne McGrath: When mum passed away, I really wanted to do something, not good –  I wanted to do something great for mum.

The qualities she showed in the end – she fought all the way. She had the biggest heart. In the end, she just kept saying ‘everything’s going to be okay’.

"It’s really moved me the fact that this horrible disease has taken mum away: a loving mum who wouldn’t hurt anybody." 

Kris Flanders: The 43-year-old decided he was going to run a marathon in every state and territory around the country and all the while raising funds for breast cancer research. So far Wayne has completed four gruelling 42 kilometre journeys - and plans to keep going until the task is complete in the Northern Territory mid-2016.

So far he's knocked down marathons in Sydney, Perth, Canberra and most recently in Townsville - next on the list is Melbourne.

Wayne has set the fund raising total of $50,000 and has been humbled by the response so far for his efforts from everyday people to family and friends and some NRL clubs for coming on board and providing items to support the worthy cause.

Wayne McGrath: The response has been incredible. What I’m doing now, I’ve dreamed about it for a long time. I put it to a lot of the NRL clubs and they’ve kindly come back to me and I want to see if I can auction them off or if I can do a charity night and all the monies raised go to the Glenn McGrath [Foundation for breast cancer].

Kris Flanders: Most recently, Wayne added a signed Roosters jersey to the collection, something one of the star players was more than happy to help out with.

James Maloney, Roosters NRL Player: A phenomenal effort. Obviously, when I heard about the story, I helped to raise some funds. It’s a great cause. It’s an issue that touches a lot of people: hopefully a small gesture like this will help go a long way.

Kris Flanders: Wayne thinks his mother would have a smile in regards to his marathon running and breast cancer fund raising efforts to honour her.

"It’s an issue that touches a lot of people: hopefully a small gesture like this will help go a long way."

Wayne McGrath: She’d be so proud. I know she’d be up there smiling and laughing with the rest of our mob that’s gone before her.

Kris Flanders: And just like in this interview - with his mum Cheryl right behind him - it's a sure thing that Wayne McGrath will complete his targets with her by his side.