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Doctor in training, Janna Pittman. Doctor in training, Janna Pittman.
14 September 2017 Posted by 

Jana swaps her running shoes for a stethoscope

ILIANA STILLITANO
JANA Pittman is swapping her running shoes for a stethoscope and tackling the hospital ward with the same gusto she mustered to conquer the athletics track.
These days the Olympic and Commonwealth champion is pursuing a childhood dream to become a doctor.
 
But the road hasn’t been an easy one for the mother of three who was born and raised in Western Sydney.
 
“I don’t have much of a social life,” laughed Pittman on the challenge of juggling being mum to Cornelis, 9, Emily, 2, and baby Jemima, and the rigorous studies she hopes will see her soon become an obstetrician-gynaecologist.
 
It’s a career steeped in a personal desire to help others after the Hills Shire resident experienced a cervical cancer scare before conceiving her second child.
 
And it’s also what drew her to the role of ambassador of the Coleman Greig Challenge, an annual event that raises money for several Western Sydney charities, including health care and research at Westmead Hospital.
 
“Some of the money raised will be used to buy a Panda machine for the very premature babies so they can be warmed and heated. Newborn care is one of the reasons I got involved in this,” Ms Pittman said.
 
And also because the other funding recipients – the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children, and St Gabriel’s School for Children with Special Needs at Castle Hill – are local charities, she said.
 
“The money people give through the Coleman Greig Challenge goes to helping others in our own backyard,” she said.
 
“And you get to have fun at the same time.”
 
Pregnant at the time of last year’s Challenge, Ms Pittman said she was keen to go from pushing a pram around the 2.5km walking circuit to tackling the 5km run through Parramatta Park on Friday, October 20.
 
Businesses are encouraged to participate in the event which started five years ago by two lawyers from the Coleman Grieg firm as a before-work run to raise money for the local charities.
 
It has since raised more than $350,000 and this year the hope is to raise $175,000.
 
“It’s a great networking opportunity as well as a great way to get fit,” Ms Pittman said.
 
“What I love most is the money goes into our local community.
 
“I used to live across the road from St Gabriel’s and with my studies I’m at the hospital regularly. The money that is being raised will make a real difference.
 
“So while I don’t have much of a social life, I get real enjoyment out of doing something like this.”
 
Learn more about the Coleman Grieg Challenge and how to make a donation at:
 
 


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