Meet your Walk Ambassadors.
Everyone who walks, volunteers or fundraises for this event is a hero. Below are some of the champions of our walk and their incredible stories. Together we can kick cancer to the curb.
2021 Promenade Club Ambassador
Kylie passed away on 5 April 2021. She was a true friend to the Perkins and a strong advocate for medical research. We will miss her and dedicate this walk to her. This is her story, in her own words…
Last year was my second Walk for Women’s Cancer but my actual first walk. I was too sick to walk in 2019 but I did show up to cheer on my amazing team, Blistering for a Cause.
2020 was different. Nothing was going to stop me walking. Not my treatment, not my surgeries and especially not COVID-19. It was such an emotional experience crossing that finish line and one that I’d been working towards all year. And it was made even more special because I was named the 2020 Walk Ambassador.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer nearly two years ago. I have the BRCA1 gene mutation, which means you are more susceptible to breast and ovarian cancer. Since then, I’ve had a double mastectomy and several courses of chemo. I’m also scheduled for preventative surgery to have my ovaries removed.
Unfortunately, my two sisters have also inherited the BRCA1 mutation. So, the three of us are going through our cancer journey together. It has brought us closer as a family.
I do have another family supporting me, my walk family – team Blistering for a Cause. These remarkable women have been my support network, my cheer squad and my training buddies. I love those gals and I can’t wait to line up next to them on Saturday May 29.
And then there’s my Perkins family. I’ve gotten to know the wonderful team at the Perkins over the past couple of years. They’re as passionate as me about finding answers and developing breakthrough treatments. Do I need to mention the honeybee venom discovery came from the Perkins? It makes me proud that my donations are going to the best place possible to help rid the world of women’s cancers.
This year, I have the privilege of being your 2021 Promenade Club Ambassador. This club of amazing women (and a sprinkling of men) pledge to raise over $2000 each for women’s cancer research. Last year 101 people were inducted into the inaugural Promenade Club - my aim is to grow that number this year to 150 and beyond. Will you join me?
I lost my mum to breast cancer when I was 21.
She was 48. She battled this disease for 7 years. I miss her every day. But she left me with some big questions about my own health, especially since starting my own family.
After much thought and discussion with my husband, I chose to have a double mastectomy in 2008 as a preventive measure due to high-risk factors based on my family history. I made this decision because I knew I could potentially have this disease in the future. And I wanted more time with my 3 boys. I wanted the time I missed out on with my own mum.
Since my walk, two women in my life have been diagnosed with breast cancer. One is a family member, and the other was prompted to have a breast check because (I’m proud to say) of my efforts in raising awareness of the need for prevention last year. Luckily, it was found early and she is now on her treatment journey. She was the first of her family to be diagnosed. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.
My 42km walk is a small blip compared to what these women are going through right now. They are tough, they are strong, they are bloody amazing women and I am doing this for them and every woman who may travel this road.
I am so, so very proud to be a small part of a BIG community representing these gals. Together, we can do this and tell cancer where to go!
I wasn’t going to get breast cancer – ever! It wasn’t on my radar.
I was healthy, didn’t drink, wasn’t overweight, was reasonably active, and had no family history. I thought I was low risk.
But in November 2016, I felt a lump in my right breast. I had a mammogram which gave me the all-clear. But something wasn’t right. I decided to trust my instincts. I had an ultrasound and was then sent off for a biopsy. I still remember vividly the day I received my test results. “It’s cancer”. All my denial slipped away with those two words.
It was discovered – through further tests – that I didn’t have one lump but two. Finding the second lump probably saved my life.
After two lumpectomies and a course of radiation, tests indicated that I had a low risk of recurrence. That meant no chemo!
Breast cancer has changed me. I’ve learnt so much from this experience. I learnt how kind, compassionate and generous people are… how grateful for everyone and everything I am... how to live and love more. I also learnt to swear. It helps! And I learnt that we are so lucky to have first-class healthcare in this country thanks, in part, to places like the Perkins.
So why am I back walking again this year? Because today I can and tomorrow, I may not be able to! And there’s so much left to do.
Last year, I participated in the Walk for Women’s Cancer for the first time.
It was the start of a new journey for me – a wonderful journey. I am so utterly grateful for the support I received from not only my family, but my friends, members of the public and the staff at the Perkins.
As a 19-year-old, I really want to inspire other young people in my life to do something to help others. My goal in taking part in the Walk was to do something for others but also to inspire those around me to join me and to make a difference in at least one person’s life. I never expected that the Walk would touch me so personally.
My mum’s best friend is currently battling Stage 4 Melanoma, so I dedicated my walk to her and all the other women who are battling this horrid disease. She is a ray of sunshine in the lives of so many people and without her, life would be dull, so I wanted to do anything in my power to help. And knowing that the Perkins researches all kinds of cancers – including melanoma – made it a perfect fit for me.
I can’t wait to participate in the Walk again this year. I’m inspired by the women who walked with me last year. And I want to encourage younger women to join me in support of everyone in our lives currently fighting this terrible disease.
Our family journey with breast cancer has been punctuated with many challenges.
Having lost my wife, Anita at 39 years old to breast cancer I have a very personal connection to this disease. I lost my young wife, and our children, Lee and Simone, lost their dear and loving mum.
21 years on and I’m participating in my sixth Walk for Women’s Cancer in memory of Anita. I walk to support my immediate and broader family. I’ve committed myself to help raise necessary funds for the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.
I truly believe that ground-breaking medical advancements made by researchers at the Perkins will lessen the impact of this terrible disease, advance research into breast cancer and improve the quality of life of women diagnosed with it. We will continue to walk on for Anita, and for all the wives and mothers who are fighting for their lives.
I think I might be the only Walk Hero who is yet to participate in this event. But that will change this year.
I was introduced to the Walk for Women’s Cancer by attending the magical Promenade Club VIP event as a guest last year. Hearing so many incredible stories inspired me to sign up there and then. My own breast cancer journey started with me playing with my son Ellis. As a boisterous two-year old at the time, he kicked me if the left breast, which led me to discovering l had a lump there. I truly believe I may not have found it if it wasn’t for him. He may well of saved my life.
I live with my incredible mum who nursed me through all the crappiness that cancer brings and looked after Ellis when I was too sick to do so. And I was supported by my fiercely loyal and loving family. I have two older sisters and a niece and nephew. Thankfully, we did not inherit the BRCA1 gene, so my wish is that breast cancer stops with me.
Throughout my breast cancer journey, I have gained a newfound appreciation for the power of sisterhood and the way that women (old friends or new ones) rally around you when things go wrong. They are there to lift you up and get you going again. That feeling of love and support from them is incredibly powerful and that is the same feeling I get when talking to the Walk participants. I can’t wait for May when I can meet you all face to face.
Team Rose Buddies
Individually, we’re Carrie, Alexandra and Caroline. But together we are Team Rosebuddies.
And we are very proud Walk veterans. This will be our sixth walk as a team. We walk in memory of those we have loved and lost. We are passionate about this event and can honestly say that taking part in it year after year is a pleasure and a privilege.
Now more than ever, when so many of our friends and families cannot come together due to COVID19, medical research needs our support. And cancer research needs our support. Helping fund cancer research here in WA has ripple effects around the world. So although we do this walk for our families and our community, we know the impact of what we raise is felt far and wide. That’s something to be extremely proud of.
We can’t wait to walk in 2021. We look forward to the Walk traditions of being met at the finish line by Professor Leedman with a big hug and high five… collecting our individual rose bushes that we display proudly in our gardens… and toasting our efforts with a well-earned tipple or two.
We hope you join the Walk family in 2021. We’re a friendly bunch and would welcome the company. But more important than that is the more of us, the less chance cancer has!
Team Purple Hearts
Established in 2015, we’re a group of enthusiastic, passionate and dedicated West Australian women that are committed to making a positive impact by fighting to improve outcomes for women with breast and gynaecological cancers.
We took the name Purple Hearts from a medal awarded to wounded or killed US military personnel in honour of their sacrifices.
We think this medal is a fitting tribute to honour all women who have faced a cancer diagnosis, especially those who have been physically or psychologically scarred or have died.
One in seven women is diagnosed with breast cancer. This sobering statistic means that all of us know women who are fighting or have fought a breast or gynaecological cancer. And tragically, despite amazing medical advances, too many women still do not survive.
Medical research has already made dramatic improvements in early intervention and treatment. And it’s the only avenue we have to prevent more of our loved ones suffering from these devastating diseases in the future.
The incredible researchers at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research are striving to make pivotal discoveries to reduce the incidence and death from women's cancer. The Purple Hearts are dedicated to support the Perkins researchers in their efforts to bring hope to the women in our lives that we love and refuse to lose to cancer without an almighty fight!
All team members, past and present do this walk for the cause but also the camaraderie– it truly brings us together.
Team F*ck Cancer - Tash's Tarts
My name is Carolyn and I’m the Captain of F#*k Cancer – Tash’s Tarts.
My amazing friend Tash started the team last year after she was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. Unfortunately, she didn’t live to do the Walk so we walked in her honour. Tash passed away on May 30, 2020.
This year’s official Walk is the day before so it’s going to be a very emotional and special day. I know she will be walking with us It’s never just one person that honour when we walk for because cancer touches so many. So, this year also I walk for my sister, Sue who is a breast cancer survivor. And I walk for my dear friend Mano whose has just completed her breast cancer treatment.
I am so thankful that medical research has helped in their treatment and recovery. Everyone loved Tash. She started this fight, but we’re determined to end it in her honour. Cancer stops with me, you and us. Let’s do this!