42 marathons in 42 days fundraiser supports childhood brain tumours

(Diego Alcubierre is dedicated to his 42 Marathons in 42 Days Fundraiser for the CHEO Neurosurgery Department and families with a child going through treatment for a brain tumour.)

Stittsville resident, Diego Alcubierre is a marathon runner, having completed the Ironman, Duathlon and marathons of any distance over the years. This year he is on a heartfelt mission. Diego has organized a fundraiser, in partnership with CHEO, to support the families and children experiencing the struggle when diagnosed and receiving treatment for a childhood brain tumour. His mission? Diego will be running 42 marathons for 42 days here in Stittsville and CHEO with the goal of raising $42,000.

(Diego Alcubierre in training for his 42 Marathons in 42 Days fundraiser for the Neurosurgery Department at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Photo: Submitted)

Diego and his family experienced personally the overwhelming news in late March that their 8-year old daughter had been diagnosed with a fist-sized brain tumour attached to her cerebellum. By April 6th she was in surgery.

This shocking news began when Diego’s daughter went for an eye examination. During the exam, the optician discovered that there was something wrong. What was to be a regular eye exam, turned into weeks of turmoil for the family and their daughter – specialist appointments, tests performed, MRI’s, appointments with the Neurosurgery team at CHEO. Once diagnosed, and being a priority case with no time delays, the surgery date was set.

Going through this terrifying experience with their daughter, the family noticed that other families were worried and stressed. Diego told Stittsville Central, “we realized that other families were finding it very stressful, not only with the worry of their child’s health, but financially. For those who don’t live near CHEO, to be able to stay with their child in Ottawa during treatments for the length of time required, can be costly.” “We had to do something and I run, so the idea of a marathon fundraiser in support of these families and CHEO emerged.”

The surgery was five months ago for Diego’s daughter and she is on the road to recovery and a good life. Thanks to the CHEO Neurosurgery team and their care, the surgery was successful. She still has follow-up appointments and MRI’s to get through that she finds tough.

(Diego Alcubierre participates in the Ottawa Army Run. Photo: submitted)

Diego and his family can’t thank CHEO enough for their care and for so quickly looking after their daughter.

“These surgeries are complicated and expensive, and I want to give back by raising funds to help other families in a similar situation,” Diego states on his website.

“I’m starting the marathon on September 19, where I will be running the Trans Canada Trail from Terry Fox Drive to Jinkinson Sideroad daily. On weekends, I plan to run either Saturday or Sunday the same distance over at CHEO,” said Diego. “I have set a goal of $42,000 to be raised.”

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. The symbol for Childhood Cancer Awareness is a gold ribbon. The symbol for brain tumours is a grey ribbon. For children fighting a brain tumour, that’s two ribbons, too many.

Diego and his family are asking residents to support CHEO and the Neurosurgery patients with a donation directly to the hospital that can be made here to help alleviate the financial stress that families contend with. Donors will be sent a tax receipt electronically from CHEO.

Residents can follow Diego as he runs and completes his 42 day marathon on his Instagram page. Visit his website to learn more about Diego’s incredible feat to help others going through a similar health experience.


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