Cancer survivor beats personal record to donate $2000 to cancer research

Headshot of Breanna Redhead
Breanna RedheadBusselton Dunsborough Times
Rob Antoniolli competing in the Masters Athletics State Track and Field Championships.
Camera IconRob Antoniolli competing in the Masters Athletics State Track and Field Championships. Credit: suuplied

Busselton local and cancer survivor Rob Antoniolli has a new spring in his step that has led him to donate a massive $2000 to cancer research.

An active runner in his youth, everything changed for Mr Antoniolli when he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of blood cancer, in 2019.

Three years later and determined to return to his former glory, the 70-year-old recently competed at the Masters Athletics State Track and Field Championships in Perth.

Additionally, he found sponsors to donate to his feat in a personal challenge to beat his personal best times. Determined to prove his capability to himself, Anotniolli vowed to match the donations dollar for dollar.

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Despite not taking the gold, the athlete walked way with four podium finishes in the men’s 70s division, a silver medal in the 400m sprint and bronze in the 60m, 100m and 200m events.

Smashing records, $900 was obtained in sponsorships, which Antoniolli then matched in surplus, bringing the total to an incredible $2000 donated to the Myeloma Foundation of Australia.

The Busselton local said he hopes to inspire others to keep going.

“You don’t give up because you’ve got cancer,” he said.

“I just want to show people you can do it.

“You don’t give up you just keep going and you’d be surprised how far you can go.”

A member of Bunbury and Districts Athletics Club, the athlete chose to enter the State championships as an independent so to showcase his specialty made ‘Multi Myeloma Masters Athletics Club’ t-shirt that proudly read ‘membership of one.’

Often struggling from survivor’s guilts, he said he is thankful to everyone who helped achieve his efforts.

“I was just wrapped in my ability,” he said.

“I often get survival guilt syndrome when I think about how I’ve done with what I’ve done and it walks the fine line of when does determination become stubbornness?

“I really owe it to my physio Erin who got me going again and my training partner Nigel for pushing me to get to this point.”

Rob hopes to continue his success and enter the Australian Masters in Perth next month.

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