Pip Davis is living proof that you can achieve anything you put your mind to with Can Too. She completed the New York Marathon in 2016 after undergoing knee and shoulder reconstruction surgery two years previously.
Pip, (pictured above centre) started her journey with the Foundation by completing the nine-kilometre Blackmores Bridge Run in 2005, her first running event and Can Too’s first program.
"I couldn't do it on my own, I'm not dedicated enough," says Pip.
The business executive said that doing the long runs together, where you're all training for the same event, whilst having a chat provides real camaraderie and a social element as well.
"Even if you're slow like me you can always find someone in the pod you can run with at your pace. I'm not the most talented but no one cares, it's all about participation.
“If you think your running is crap, remember you're lapping everyone on the couch."
There's much more to Can Too than running or swimming, says Pip.
“We can often feel isolated as we’re in front of screens so much, from the computer to our phones, we forget to interact with real people. With Can Too you’re around other people with the same purpose - they’re striving to do something to make the world a better place. Everybody in Can Too also values their health and wellbeing and a balanced lifestyle.
“You can’t help but feel positive or inspired, you absolutely CAN TOO, we all have personal goals to reach or have overcome adversity such as losing family members to cancer.”
She's raised over $10,000, with some of the grants going to researchers of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, which her father passed away from when she was a teenager. Her mother is now living with stage 4 bowel cancer.
“The Can Too community has been so supportive, cancer has hit me now, with my mum, and it will hit someone else tomorrow, the support you receive does restore your faith in humanity.
The veteran Can Tooer got to meet one of the researchers, who was guest speaking at a training session, to learn about the breakthroughs they're making in fighting the disease.
"If I can change the life of one person it'll be worth it.
"Can Too thanks me but I should thank them, it's changed my life. I've met amazing people, received great support, especially from my coach Tim. And I've made the best lifelong friends from the first Can Too I did in 2005."
Her coach, Tim Lindop, has run 19 marathons including the Berlin, Australian Outback and the 45 kilometre Six Foot Track in the Blue Mountains.
However, he says that he gets the most satisfaction seeing Can Too participants achieve their goals, from beginners doing their first five kilometre fun run to Pip doing the marathon.
"There's no egos, no superstars and they all help each other. The gains they make in the 12-week program is unbelievable."
Pip agrees that there are no egos and no hierarchy.
“You see Anne, (Chair of the Board Anne Massey) and ‘Pete’ (CEO Peter McLean) joining in the runs on Saturday mornings, they are just Anne and Pete, there’s no ego.
The training also helps when you’re feeling down.
“Can Too is infectious for moving the dial if you’re feeling flat or hopeless, it doesn’t matter what shit day you’re having, you are all there to achieve something big and everyone appreciates that.
“It’s always good to have a goal for good mental health, it gives you a purpose to get out of bed to go to training. It sets me up for the day to feel great about myself with my mates.”
Whilst training for the NY marathon, Pip struggled with an injury.
“If you couldn’t run leading up to the event you could still participate by being an energy champion, so you’re still there supporting everybody.
“All 84 entrants that started the Can Too NY marathon program all finished the race, from sub 3.5 hours to people like me who ran it in 6.5 hours, we all struggled at times but supported each other.
“You’re never alone when you don the Orange on a Saturday morning.”