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Inspiration to charge on

Daniel Bouwmeester    June 13, 2023    2 min read   

Springfield resident Jomar Nieva refused to let four broken ribs stop him from completing a lofty cancer fundraising goal for this year’s ‘The March Charge’.

It was a decision in solidarity with Jomar’s many friends and family members who had lost their lives in recent years, due to cancer and COVID-19.

“I lost good friends and relatives due to cancer and COVID-related sickness,” Jomar said.

The March Charge is a month-long fitness challenge initiative of the Cancer Council to raise funds for world-class cancer research, prevention programs, and support services.

Fitness and fundraising are both something Jomar is very passionate about.

“Every day in Australia, about 444 people hear the words ‘you have cancer’,” he noted.

As well as being President of the Philippines-Australia Multicultural Association, Jomar is very active in the Springfield community and regularly competes in the local parkrun on Saturdays.

He completed the 2021 and 2022 The March Charge, and this year would be no different.

Jomar had just turned 54, so for the 2023 event, his target became running 154 km and raising $1,540.

A scan of Jomar’s rib injury.

He set up his Cancer Council donations page and dutifully promoted the cause on social media.

However, on the morning of March 4, having already completed 12km of his challenge, Jomar fell off a ladder and broke four ribs on his left-hand chest side – casting doubt over his plans.

“It was a painful week after the accident, and I was thinking of pulling out of the fundraiser,” he explained.

While not physically capable of running, he decided to push through by walking the remaining distance.

“I realised the pain and immobility I was experiencing was nothing compared to the daily experience of the cancer patients I have been supporting.

“So I decided to push on and continue, this time by walking.”

He had also hoped the walking would help in his healing and recovery.

Incredibly, not only did Jomar reach his distance goal, he exceeded his original financial target.

“By the end of March, I completed 154 km and raised $2,008.”

Jomar said he is feeling much better and expects to make a full recovery.

Jomar, right, with some of his supporters. Images: Jomar Nieva.

Daniel Bouwmeester

Daniel was born in a mining town in New South Wales to Dutch and Welsh immigrants, before relocating to Logan City, where he attended Canterbury College for twelve years. He pursued his passion for music by completing a first-class honours degree at the University of Queensland (UQ), and later signed with a local record label. He has travelled the world from a young age, including a student exchange in rural France, a job working the ski lifts in Colorado, and visits to the islands of the South Pacific. After a six-year career in market research, Daniel returned to UQ to complete a Bachelor of Journalism and Arts dual degree, majoring in political science. His varied experiences at home and abroad have contributed to a passion for spreading good news while defending the truth buried inside complex societal paradigms.