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A record number of 13 500 people who turned out at the RACQ International Women’s Day Fun Run on Sunday 3 March have helped Mater Chicks in Pink in their goal to raise $800 000 for breast cancer research and support services.
Funds raised from the event go to Mater Chicks in Pink to provide tangible support services such as counselling, yoga and art therapy and mastectomy bras for women who have lost one or both of their breasts, in addition to helping to fund life-saving research at Mater to better understand and treat breast cancer in the future.
As guest of honour, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, addressed the crowd of women, men and children who walked and ran in the event, praising their efforts in getting behind breast cancer patients going through treatment at Mater hospitals.
“This event is one of Brisbane’s biggest celebrations of women and a fantastic way to kick off Queensland Women’s Week,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Every Queenslander knows someone who has been affected by breast cancer, be it a mother, aunt, wife, sister or friend, so we all have a very personal reason to get out into the early morning fresh air and support this wonderful charity event.”
Funds raised from the event go to Mater Chicks in Pink to provide tangible support services such as counselling, yoga and art therapy and mastectomy bras for women who have lost one or both of their breasts.
Bec Leslie is one of these women. In 2017, at 47 years old, Bec was diagnosed with a Grade 3 Triple Negative Breast Cancer.
“To say it was awful, or shocking, doesn’t really capture it. There have been so many tough moments, like telling my husband and son, getting through months of chemotherapy and then having to make the difficult decision to have bilateral mastectomies,” said Bec.
Bec joined 170 of her colleagues, family and friends in today’s RACQ International Women’s Day Fun Run – holding eight white balloons to represent the eight Australian women who will die from breast cancer each day, while her son Justin held eight pink balloons signifying the one in eight women under 85, diagnosed with breast cancer every day in Australia.
Bec said it was the practical support from Mater Chicks in Pink and her breast cancer nurse that helped her get through the dark days.
“My breast care nurse was an incredible support to me. She was my lifeline when I didn’t want to dump all my worries on my family.”
Funds raised from the event also help fund life-saving research programs at Mater Research to better understand and treat breast cancer in the future.
"I can’t tell you how relieved I was when I got on the Mater Chicks in Pink website and I saw there was research for my rare breast cancer type happening right here at Mater. It gave me so much confidence,” said Bec.
“Getting cancer and losing my breasts was grim, but losing my certainty about the future was harder. No matter the amount you give to support this worthy cause will make a difference so we can make certain no one walks alone.”
Mater Foundation Executive Director of Philanthropy, Lesley Ray said the event had been a resounding success thanks to the generosity and support of the community.
“So many people in our community have been touched by breast cancer. And today we were deeply moved by the stories of those paying tribute to and supporting their loved ones.
“We are overwhelmed by the support for women and thank you all for helping Mater Chicks in Pink to provide breast cancer services and research that will help change lives into the future,” she said.
Lesley said community contributions were still coming in and the final result would be known by the end of the week.
If you didn't get a chance to show your support, donations can be made via www.womensdayfunrun.com.au.
“Thank you to those who took part on the day and thank you Brisbane for your support!”
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