Rachel Doherty Foundation

Reporter: Cassie Silver

Two men, devoted to one special woman. To father Rob and fiancé' Matt Rachael Doherty was one of a kind.

Diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma at just 17 the family exhausted all treatment options in Perth.

Their saving grace - treatment that would give Rachael many more years and it was just a plane ride away.

That man was Professor David Ritchie at the Peter McCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne.

Rob says "so she spent 8 weeks straight Rach and her mum in Melbourne and then post that she had to go back every 2 weeks"

Matt says "some of the treatments she was going through we quite brutal physically so i think the more support we were able to offer her in person instead of over the phone or over the computer was hopefully part of what kept her going"

Tragically, Rachael lost her long battle at just 26."She got on a plane to come home to get some further clothes and basically got pneumonia on the plane. They had an ambulance waiting at the airport and she never got out of Royal Perth"

Now it's the men in Rachael's life who continue her fight. The Rachael Doherty Foundation was born, launched on what would have been their wedding day.

Matt says "rather than wasting the night and the day we had an opportunity to turn it into something really positive so we launched the foundation on the night in the same venue which was great"

Their aim, to bring treatment to Perth. "Trying to pick off some of gaps that exist in our system and elevate the necessity to have to travel so." Rob says "if it wasn't a million dollars it was very close it basically stretched our family financially but we were able to cope and manage it" but many families can't. Currently over 40 families travel to and from Dr Mac's clinic in Melbourne. Matt says they're the lucky ones. "They're only the people that can afford to do it so the figure of people who can't actually make that decision to go its anyone's guess"

So the foundation is raising funds, awareness and people's heart rates. "It's a walk run fun run and it's either 5 or 10kms and there's also a paddle event so a lot of my mates get along and get involved in the paddling"

Joining them in his joggers is Member for Armadale Tony Buti. "I was just really taken aback by it was very moving and very sad and something that I would like to get involved with" Tony has turned Rachael's memory into a marathon. "I've decided to run from Pinjarra to champion lakes which is about 70 kms but I must say I am having second thoughts about it but I have to do it now the good people are sponsoring me"

For more details

www.rachaeldohertyfoundation.org/