Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research inaugural walk raises $2.2 million

An enthusiastic crowd of 845 women and men challenged themselves to a gruelling 60km walk over two days in the first ever Perth Weekend to End Women's Cancers. 

The event raised an impressive $2.2 million for breast and ovarian cancer research projects at the Perkins, making it WA's largest ever fundraising walk for women's cancers.

The funds have already been allocated to a newly established Centre for Women’s Cancers, which will focus on cancer prevention, detection and finding targeted and personalised treatments for women’s cancers.

Professor Pilar Blancafort spoke to walkers at the Weekend about her research at the Perkins which focuses on poor prognosis cancers.

“My research aims to develop new methods to target cancers that are difficult to treat and associated with poor outcome, such as triple negative breast cancers and serious ovarian cancers,” Professor Blancafort said.

Perkins Director Professor Peter Leedman greeted the crowd at the opening ceremony, thanking walkers for their fantastic fundraising and training efforts.

“We send our thanks and gratitude to this inspiring community of cancer survivors, patients, donors, crew and volunteers who have come together and helped make our first annual Weekend to End Women’s Cancers an incredible success,” he said.

“One in three Western Australian women will be diagnosed with some form of cancer before the age of 85 and on average four women die from it each day. Funds from the Walk enable researchers at the Perkins to make discoveries that will ultimately improve the health of the community,”Professor Leedman added.

Shenton Park resident, Peter Kerr, said he had been inspired to sign up for the Walk after seeing the effect of cancer on his mother and wife.

“My Mother succumbed to ovarian cancer in 2011 and last year my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer,” Mr. Kerr said.

“I took part in the weekend to honour the memory of my Mum and the courage of my wife.  My mantra is, 'For My Mum. For My Wife. For My Daughter’.  I can’t do anything about what has happened in the past, but by walking in this event I can have a positive impact on my daughter’s future.  My hope is that she will one day grow up in a world where women’s cancers are just stories from the past.  A world where the collective efforts of many has one day Ended Women’s Cancers for all future generations.”

Pledge to make a difference today and sign up for the 2015 Walk at www.endcancer.org.au  

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