15 years after the unfortunate passing of beloved PA Hospital physiotherapist Adam Smiddy to an aggressive melanoma, PA Research Foundation continues to honour his memory with Smiddy Fun Week.
Beloved PA Hospital physio, Adam Smiddy
Beginning as the Smiddy Fun Run to raise money for skin cancer research, the event transformed from a single fun run to a week-long fitness and fundraising campaign Smiddy Fun Week in 2020. The week allows people to challenge themselves to walk, run, cycle or swim for ‘7 Days of Smiddy’, while raising funds for skin cancer and melanoma research at the PA Hospital campus.
Smiddy Fun Week takes place during national Skin Cancer Action Week 21 to 27 November, with participants able to take part on their own or create a team with friends, family and colleagues and improve their health, while raising vital funds to give hope to others facing a skin cancer diagnosis. With prizes available for the best performing teams, competitors are encouraged to track and post their workouts to their smiddyfunweek.org.au page.
Participants in last year's Smiddy Fun Week, raising funds for skin cancer research
PA Research Foundation Chief Executive Officer Damian Topp said the PA Hospital campus is home to numerous promising research projects in the skin cancer and melanoma space.
“The Foundation is currently supporting one of our PA Hospital based oncologists, Dr Rahul Ladwa to explore the use of immunotherapy in treating squamous cell carcinoma skin cancers and the campus is also home to the University of Queensland Dermatology Research Centre. The Centre’s advancements in 3D body imaging which we have proudly supported have the potential to save thousands of lives.
“This is the type of game-changing research that is supported through funds raised by Smiddy Fun Week, and why I’d encourage anyone with a connection to skin cancer and melanoma to get involved.”
“Queensland’s considered the skin cancer capital of the world so it’s vitally important we continue to drive research to change that and to save lives.
Last year’s Smiddy Fun Weekbom raised almost $30,000 for the cause bringing the contribution of the PA Research Foundation’s Smiddy events to skin cancer research to over $130,000 since 2006.
“Adam Smiddy was a much-loved member of the PA Community and I’m sure would’ve been one of the first people to take on a challenge like this for such a good cause, Mr Topp said.
“Fundraising last year was led by Adam’s father David and many of our other top fundraisers last were former colleagues of Adam’s which showed that all these years later he still fondly remembered. We also had a lot of community members whose lives have been touched by skin cancer in some way or another sign up and raise funds.
“Smiddy Fun Week would not be possible without the support of our partners Port of Brisbane, and we thank them for their ongoing commitment to research into skin cancer and melanoma.”
“My family and I are so very proud to have Adam's memory honoured each year by way of the Smiddy Fun Run and now Smiddy Fun Week,” Adam’s father David said.
Adam Smiddy's father, David, pictured during last year's Smiddy Fun Week
“August 6th this year marked the 15th anniversary of Adam's passing and will be the 15th year of the event. We are very proud of the fact the event has raised $130K to date for the PA Research Foundation and skin cancer research.
“When Ange O'Connor and Tony Pratt (Colleagues of Adam’s at the PA Hospital) first approached my wife Maria and I in 2006, at around the time it would have been Adam's birthday, about holding a Fun Run in his memory, we never dreamed it would still be going 15 years later.
“This event is such a fitting way to honour Adam's memory. He loved his work as a physiotherapist and the people he worked with, and he loved his sport. Smiddy Fun Week combines the two beautifully. He would be humbled to think this event was about him, but proud to know funds are being raised for such a worthy cause.
“My family and I would like to thank everybody, past and present, involved in organising this event and continuing to keep Adam's memory alive. We also thank all the participants for taking part over the years and raising much needed funds for the PA Research Foundation.”
With an entry fee of just $10, Smiddy Fun Week will offer something for everyone, with challenges ranging from 25kms in 7 days or 10 laps of the 2019 Smiddy Fun Run course, right up to 75kms or 30 laps of the course for the keen athletes who want to test themselves.
Competitors and participants will be able to track their kilometers and workouts online after registering through the website here.