In year 12, Monty Summers was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia (ALL), a rare form of blood cancer that prevents the white blood cells functioning correctly. As he told The Cairns Post it was this experience that opened his eyes and spawned his love for athletics.
With the support of his family and particularly his Mum, Summers took on a new positive outlook that helped him to 18 months after his diagnosis, run over 1500km from Brisbane to Longreach raising nearly $100,000 for charity.
“Leukaemia really helped me gain a positive attitude. It helped me laugh at the little things and from there I was able to realise that leukemia was a large part of my life but not the entirety of it.” Summers said
However since being diagnosed with ALL, there has been more obstacles for Summers.
After he collected three world records at the 2015 World Transplant Games, his dad suffered a hematoma and the family made the difficult decision to turn off his life support.
That same year Summers movedto Cairns for his job at Sporting Wheelies but a lack of funding meant he was made redundant in 2016. Weeks later Summers again was having surgery, this time to remove a tumour from his head. Only days post surgery a fridge was dropped “nearly severing his leg in half” while Monty was helping a friend move house.
Summers said that the tumour and losing a job didn’t concern him but taking running away from him was hard. However after all that he has still persevered.
The athlete has been selected in the European Training Centre of Excellence in Italy, the first Australian transplant recipient to be chosen and through the Australian Sports Foundation hopes to raise funds for the World Transplant Games in June.
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