Meet your WALK AMBASSADORS
All those who participate in this event through walking, volunteering, or fundraising are heroes. The following individuals are some of our event's champions and their inspiring stories. Together, we can defeat cancer.
YOUR OFFICIAL 2023 WALK AMBASSADOR
“It’s more than a community, we feel like a family – one where we recognise and support one another.”
In 2009, at age 36 with three young children I was diagnosed with early-stage ovarian cancer.
After completing three rounds of chemotherapy, I was told if I made it to a year with no progression, I would be considered ‘cancer-free’. Each day brought me one step closer to that goal, however just shy of 12 months a check-up revealed small shadows in my breasts that were later diagnosed as primary breast cancer. It was a rude shock when I discovered that I had two unrelated primary cancer diagnoses, barely a year apart.
But thanks to medical research, and the support of many, I am still here to tell the tale. It is a significant reason why I believe raising funds by participating in the Walk is so vital. I believe that cancer research is a team effort, and I feel part of that team as a Walker.
I will complete my ninth Walk this year with my team, “Hello Titty” and celebrate the Walk’s 10th anniversary.
The Walk has now become a welcome tradition for me, my friends and my family. It’s a day to come together with gratitude, sometimes shed a few tears for those we’ve lost, and have a laugh. I'm also excited to share my advice on fundraising and give support to my fellow amazing Walkers!
“If you don't do the research, people won't get better quicker. The things they can do now with precision because they've done research is just fantastic.”
In 2022, I participated in my first Walk. It felt surreal as just 12 days prior, my wife Debbie passed away from breast cancer.
My wife Debbie loved Bali and we would holiday there each year. It was while we were on our last Bali holiday that Debbie discovered a lump in her breast. It was breast cancer.
Debbie quickly underwent treatment including chemotherapy, surgery and radiation which appeared to be successful. However 18 months later Debbie developed a niggling cough which led her medical team to discover her breast cancer has metastasised, spreading through her body including her brain.
Her oncologist informed Debbie and I that her prognosis was between 3 months and a year. In response to this devastating news, Debbie underwent further aggressive radiation and chemotherapy as life continued. I quit my job to stay home and Debbie’s health eventually stabilised. She was even well enough for us to take a couple of cherished holidays, visiting family in Darwin, holidaying in Broome and travelling down South.
After stumbling upon the Walk event through Debbie’s father, I didn't hesitate to sign up. Seeing first-hand how important funding medical research is in finding better outcomes for women like my wife inspired me to help. And while Debbie wouldn't be walking, she did intend to meet me at the finish line.
Unfortunately, Debbie passed away 12 days before the Walk. I felt I was in a haze on the day but was still determined to participate. I had decided to walk over several days finishing the last 5km on the event day. This year, I will walk all 35km on the day with my fellow Walkers.
I believe that funding medical research at the Perkins is crucial in order to find better treatments and make ground breaking discoveries.
“Without all that research, we wouldn't have any hope.”
My first Walk was in 2014 which I completed in a wheelchair as I was undergoing chemotherapy for metastatic breast cancer. This year on the Walk's 10th anniversary I will be walking the entire 35km.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, the shock of the news did not sink in until my surgeon told me, “We can’t operate today, your cancer is metastatic.” He explained that my breast cancer was stage four, which also meant that my cancer had spread. There is no cure for stage four breast cancer.
However, that was nine years ago and I am still here continuing to raise funds for cancer research by participating in the Walk.
Incredibly, even while going through chemotherapy, I participated in my first Walk For Women’s Cancer in 2014. Being in a wheelchair at the time certainly didn’t stop me from crossing the finish line because that’s how important I feel funding medical research into women's cancer is.
Since then, I have walked another two times and volunteered once. In either role, I do so because of the support I feel from other Walkers which I describe as ‘walking in a hug’.
I feel extremely fortunate and even while I have had further chemo and surgery over the years there luckily has been no further progression of my cancer. And for the first time, I will walk the entire 35km.
Marissa and Adriana
“We hope to raise more awareness and donations surrounding breast cancer research. We are stronger than a diagnosis.”
My sister and I will be walking for the first time for our mum, Rosie, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2022.
If you asked us to describe our beautiful mum, we would say selfless, compassionate, generous, and full of life. For my sister and I, Mum is our world.
You can imagine then how devastated we were when Mum told us that a biopsy had revealed she had breast cancer. The news hit us hard. How could this happen to our mum? What did it mean for the future?
However, as scary it was for us, we wanted to be there for her as she has always been our pillar of strength and support. So as a family we rallied around her to support her through her chemotherapy and surgeries. We made sure Mum felt supported by focussing on the positives and helping her feel like herself when she felt down.
That time was especially hard for everyone. It made me realise that cancer doesn’t just affect the individual but impacts whole families. Because we want to defeat this terrible disease we are walking. We want to make sure that everyone knows how important it is that we continue funding women’s cancer research.
Joining the Walk community means that we are surrounded by other like-minded people who all know how vital breast cancer research is. It will also represent the wonderful milestone of Mum finishing her treatment. And she plans on walking the last 5km with Adriana and me!