When Xavier Mills was diagnosed with bone cancer, his friend Brock Williams felt compelled to make a difference. 

Key points:

  • Mr Williams has run almost 1,000 kilometres from Adelaide to the Victorian town of Rosedale
  • He has raised more than $25,000 to help pay for accommodation for young cancer patients forced to travel for treatment
  • Mr Mills says his friend’s efforts will make a difference to people from the country fighting cancer

So he ran from Adelaide to Rosedale, in regional Victoria, to raise funds for a charity helping young cancer patients from the country stay in the city for treatment.

Mr Mills, 19, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a cancer that develops in cells that form bone, in January this year.

The Rosedale local had to travel to Melbourne several times to undergo scans and treatment.

But with the help of the You Can Stay program, run by the Sony Foundation Australia charity, his accommodation expenses were covered.

To help ensure other young regional Victorians were not disadvantaged by living away from the city, student chiropractor Mr Williams ran nearly 1,000 kilometres to raise money for the program.

Brock Williams finished up his run in Rosedale after running 1,000 kilometres from Adelaide.(ABC Gippsland: Natasha Schapova)

“You don’t want to hear about anyone having to go through [cancer],” Mr Williams said.

“My struggles [during the run] were pretty bad, but mine was a forced struggle — at least I never have to do that again.

“Whereas Xavier, he doesn’t have a choice.”

More than $25,000 raised

Mr Williams ran an average of 60km per day over two weeks.

Excluding the pub event, he raised more than $25,000 in donations for the program, which provides free accommodation to 15 to 25-year-olds with cancer.

“So with Xavier, he has to travel up to Melbourne, they pay for his accommodation at the Quest Hotels up there in St Kilda,” Mr Williams said.

“He was doing Rosedale to Melbourne multiple times per week … it’s gonna get the average Joe tired and when he’s got his battles and everything, it’s just going to make it harder.”

More than 100 people gathered in and around the Rosedale Hotel on the weekend to cheer Mr Williams over the finish line and to continue raising more funds.

More than 100 people gathered to watch Brock Williams cross the finish line.(ABC Gippsland: Millicent Spencer)

“It’s pretty crazy, there’s not much that goes on in Rosedale so to see everyone rally around [is great],” Mr Williams said.

“Any small community, when someone does something big enough, people get behind it, and people care about it.”

Mr Mills said Mr Williams’s effort was amazing and he was glad it would help others in a similar position to him.

“It will certainly make a difference to the next person who’s from the country and has to stay in the city while they’re having treatment,” he said.

Mr Mills said he had to stay in Melbourne for six weeks while undergoing radio therapy, which would have been unaffordable.

“It would have cost thousands of dollars for accommodation and the one Sony Foundation provides was quite … close to the hospital so it made it easy to travel to,” he said.

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