Meet Linda ... another of my inspirations
Let me introduce you to Linda.
If you ever went to the Gold Coast in the 1970's or 1980's you may have gone to Illuka, Chevron or Tiki Village to enjoy a meal and watch one of the Polynesian shows. If you did, you are likely to have seen either Linda, myself or both of us performing. We were part of the Young Polynesians.
Linda was beautiful, she could sing and dance with a wicked sense of humour that added just that little 'something special' to her presence.
When you are young and spend the amount of time together as we did, from children through to young adulthood, you build a bond that becomes unshakeable. No matter what we have done in life or how long it has been that we haven't seen each other, somehow we just don't let go. We have an unbreakable bond.
I always kept in touch with Linda's family on and off. Linda and I kept in touch always through Facebook. Then I noted that things went a bit quiet. A month or so later I found out that Linda had been battling cancerous tumours in her brain, liver and lungs from her sister.
Linda was in hospital on the Gold Coast when I got to surprise her with a visit. We hadn't seen each other for about 20 years but we just sat there, laughing about the antics we got up to as young women and caught up on all of things that you do when two old friends catch up. It didn't matter that we were in a hospital room. Nothing mattered. And it felt like no time had passed between us.
Sadly, a few months later Linda passed away. There wasn't much that could be done for her in the end. I didn't get to go to Linda's funeral but in many ways it was good. I get to remember her how she was on that day.
I understand that the overall 5-year survival rate for liver cancer is only 15%; and if the liver cancer is regional (grown into nearby organs) that the 5-year survival rate is 7%. Once the liver cancer is distant, like Linda's, the survival time is as low as 2 years.
Linda is very much one of the women that I am walking 42km on May 2 for. Please help me to help The Perkins to help women (and men) like Linda. Liver is one of the cancers that The Perkins specialises in.
Meet Alison ... another of my inspirations
Meet Alison, one of my inspirations.
We all have people that we love dearly and I adored my grandmother.
Alison looks like a fairly mild grandmother in this picture but she was outrageous. She totally appealed to my sense of humour, we were on the same wavelength and I spoke to her nearly every day of my life. I could call her at midnight, 2am in the morning or 7pm at night. No matter what the time we could talk for an hour or two about anything and everything. Alison was really cool.
Pancreatic Cancer was the beast that took Alison down. When Nana told me that she had contracted Pancreatic Cancer I was in disbelief. I actually didn't comprehend it when I look back now. Nana was given 6 weeks from her diagnosis and she lasted 4 months. It was one of the most horrible and painful ways to die. It was a total death sentence. There wasn't any treatment available for her.
And that is why I am doing this walk and fundraising. The Perkins' reasearch will help someone else keep their version of Alison.
Meet one of my inspirations for this walk
Until recently Christine has been my work colleague since 2013.
We used to sit alongside each other and just have a good laugh as the two 'oldies' in our office. We'd share a wine on a Friday, chat about our children and our husbands. All the normal stuff.
One of the guys at work lost his sister to cancer. When he was describing some of the symptoms Christine could relate to them so she went off and got herself checked. She had breast cancer. Christine beat the breast cancer.
Christine changed her lifestyle, took Chinese medicines and herbs as part of her new regime. Then she ended up with a sore jaw and it just kept getting worse. She thought she must have been allergic to the Chinese medicines!
An ulcer developed and then burst. It would not stop bleeding so she had to go into emergency only to find out that she had developed Leukaemia. I dared her to ask the doctor if they were sure it was Leukaemia and not an allergy to the Chinese herbs! We have a giggle about this this journey she has been on. It is the only way I can think to help keep her positive when everyone around her is talking doom or treatments.
So Christine, true to her fighting self, beat the Leukaemia. But then she developed Lymphoma. What's the odds right?
Well right now Christine is in remission and she's busy enjoying a girls trip to Bali with her beautiful daughter while I write this.
Christine is one of my four women I am walking for and when I cross that line I know she will be one of the first to text me back.
Cancer is tough, but we're tougher
In May 2020, I’m challenging myself to walk 35km in one day as part of the Hawaiian Walk for Women’s Cancer. I’m doing it to raise much needed funds for women’s cancer research in WA at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.
There is so much more to be done to ensure that women – our mothers, sisters, daughters, friends and loved ones – living with cancer stay with us for as long as possible.
I am training and fundraising in the lead up to the event which takes place on May 2 in Perth.
I'd be so grateful for your support. My mum is joining me and I will update more about that at a later time but please give generously to my donation page.
Please help me, help the Perkins.
Let’s walk towards a cancer-free future – together.
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Thank you to my Sponsors
Hawaiian Matched Giving
Ralph And Yvonne De Grutyer