When a gust of wind blew a promotional flyer for the Weekend to End Women’s Cancer into Laura McNeill’s face, she decided it was a sign that she should support cancer research at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research by taking part in the event.
Pink Pirates of the Curebbean.
Left to Right:
Lee Collins, Laura McNeill, Valerie Dixon, Michelle Kennedy
Laura said it was almost a year to the day after she had a radical hysterectomy at the age of 32 as a result of cervical cancer.
“At that time I was at a loss. Cancer takes a lot out of you and I hadn’t regained my sense of purpose,” she said. “I decided to do the walk for myself, but also to support cancer research so that one day women won’t have to go through the struggle so many women have faced.”
“Cancer can take so much from you and your loved ones. It can be the cause of many a dark day, you can lose yourself in the struggle to simply stay alive and you can forget how to actually live. However, it cannot take your determination, it cannot take away your heart and soul and it most certainly cannot take away your hope for a brighter and better future without this disease.”
A health conscious fitness instructor before her illness, Laura started walking to and from work, entered the event on her own and finished the two day walk feeling amazing.
“I met some wonderful women, some survivors, some carers, some family - everyone had a story and everyone had a reason. That was my first walk. Now we’ve all teamed up and become Pink Pirates of the Curebbean.”
Laura hasn’t even allowed secondary cancer to stop her from registering for the 2016 Weekend to End Women’s Cancer.
“I’m going through chemotherapy now but I owe a heavy debt to the incredible medical professionals, from researchers through to specialists. It is their incredible and relentless fight against this disease that’s enabled me to be here and be able to participate.
“I’d recommend the walk to anybody, there’s an incredible sense of solidarity.”
Register now at endcancer.org.au