Teachers run to raise funds for sick mum

Two teachers raised more than $1000 a day for each day they pounded the pavement.

Daniel Tennent, right, and Daniel Kahura, back left, meet Kylie Kahura and her children PepaMo...
Daniel Tennent, right, and Daniel Kahura, back left, meet Kylie Kahura and her children PepaMo’ale, Eli Mo’ale, and Faith Mo’ale at the finish line of the final stint.

Daniel Kahura and Thomas Tennent ran 21km before work for 21 days to support Kahura’s sister, Kylie Kahura, who has stage 4B Hodgkin lymphoma.

  Kahura and Tennent both attended and now teach at St Thomas of Canterbury College. Kylie, 35, a mother of four, received her diagnosis in 2022. Despite the all-clear after chemotherapy, her cancer returned with increased aggression late last year.

“Now it’s just a waiting game,” said Kylie, who awaits further scans after she completed another round of chemotherapy, blood transfusions, and a stem cell transplant.

She is now enjoying spending time with her family.

Kylie said she was “truly blown away” by the support from the pair and wider community. “I am just so grateful and blessed,” she said.

Tennent, 33, proposed the idea to Kahura after reading a book by ultra-runner Ned Brockmann.

“I was not an ultra-runner by any means, but I wanted to do something to make other people’s lives better,” he said.

Supported by family, friends, and the wider community, the pair trained for eight weeks before their first run on April 1. In the two months that followed, the high-school friends raised $22,000 through private donations and their Givealittle page.

Kahura, 30, said he was thankful for the support and generosity of the community.

“I feel super blessed for the people who have shown their love and donated to help support my family.”

But going into the running challenge, the pair were not without their doubts. “I knew doing them back-toback was going to be tough,” said Kahura, who feared he would fail the challenge after he experienced serious achilles tendon and lower back problems.

Tennent, who gave up many hours of sleep and time with family, even experienced a severe case of rhabdo one week after finishing the last run. Rhabdo is when muscle breaks down, releasing contents into the bloodstream that can be life threatening if left untreated.

“We made sacrifices and went through hard times to help someone who’s going through harder times than us,” said Tennent. He has now recovered.

Craig Watson, head of supportive care for the Cancer Society Canterbury West Coast and Otago Southland, said the financial burden on families after diagnosis is significant.

“I know of people refusing treatment because they have had to choose between travelling to treatment, or putting food on the table for their families,” said Watson. He said community support was vital to get families through a diagnosis.

Kahura and Tennent said they were thankful they had experienced the of power of people. “It’s important to celebrate the small wins,” said Kahura