It’s a familiar statistic: one in eight Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime. But while that number ought to be shocking, the more we hear it, the less impact it has. Clearly TV violence isn’t the only thing we can become desensitised to.
It pays, then, to remember that humans aren’t just numbers, says Catherine Andrews, ambassador for the Mother’s Day Classic and wife of the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews.
“If you ask a room full of women to raise their hand if they’ve been personally affected by cancer, one in 8 hands go up,” says Andrews.
“Then ask if a direct relative or friend has had cancer. By the time you’ve asked three questions like that, everyone in the room has their hands up. It touches each and every one of us.”
Andrews was among other ambassadors celebrating the campaign launch of this year’s Mother’s Day Classic on the steps of Parliament House in Victoria.
The event, set for May 10, encompasses fun runs and walks in a record 104 locations all over Australia, to raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
The day itself is as emotional as it is physical.
“I don’t think you can fail to be moved by the people you see along the way clearly having treatment for their cancer and those who are walking or running to remember lost love ones,” says Andrews.
Having run in the event for the past five years, this is the first time she will be participating as an official ambassador – which is by no means an easy way out. She will tackle the 8km race first, before joining her husband, mother and children for the 4km walk.
Since the run began in 1998, $24.3 million has been raised which has helped fund research that has been responsible for the increase in survival rates – which currently stand at 89 per cent of those diagnosed. Yet, on average, seven women still die of breast cancer every day in Australia.
“That’s too many,” says Andrews. “There’s so much we still don’t know, but the more funds we raise, the more research we can do, and that means better outcomes going forward. Let’s hope one day we might find a cure.”
The New Daily is a proud partner of the Mother’s Day Classic, a fun run and walk, which raises funds for breast cancer research. It will take place on May 10. Visit the website to register online before the event.