My sons, my wife and I (pictured above) were privileged to be guests of The Mother’s Day Classic Foundation (MDCF) donation announcement at The Langham in late October.
In 2023, the Mother’s Day Classic recorded incredible growth, with participation up 30 per cent on 2022 with 65,000 Australians participating in 73 locations.
The donation to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) of $2.55 million was up 70 per cent, the largest donation since 2017.
I was proud of the $15,635 donated by 55 of my family, clients, readers and supporters. The third-highest amount raised by an individual, nationally. This takes the total amount raised by my community for the NBCF since 2012 to $115,883.
The NBCF uses the donation to fund research in pursuit of the NBCF’s goal of zero deaths from breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia with 1 in 7 women diagnosed in their lifetime.
It takes the total donated by the MDCF to the NBCF over the past 26 years to $44 million.
The donation announcement was only one of two big announcements on the night.
Mother’s Day Classic CEO, Zara Lawless, announced that from next year the Mother’s Day Classic will expand its reach and impact by offering participants the opportunity to take part and fundraise in support of ovarian cancer research, through the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation, in addition to breast cancer research.
Ms Lawless said treatment advances in ovarian cancer have been limited, and treatment approaches have barely changed in 30 years.
“The five-year relative survival rate for ovarian cancer is just 49 per cent, with 1,054 deaths every year, and there remains no early detection test. This is why the Mother’s Day Classic has decided to go further in 2024 and invite our participants to run or walk in support of ovarian cancer research, in addition to breast cancer research.”
“We want to accelerate progress towards the day where every woman diagnosed with either breast or ovarian cancer will be given the assurance that they can survive.’’
Robin Penty, Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation CEO, said: “The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF) has a mission to make sure the place where all human life begins – the ovaries – is no longer a place where women’s lives end.”
“On behalf of all those affected by ovarian cancer, and their families, we’re delighted to join this significant and much-admired national event on a very important day for mothers in our calendar.”
In 2024, Mother’s Day Classic participants will have the option of taking part in support of and fundraising for breast cancer research, ovarian cancer research, or both.
About two months in advance of the event at The Langham I was contacted by Zara Lawless to advise me of the change and know my views of the MDCF/OCRF partnership.
I was immediately enthusiastic and fully supportive as my friend and former colleague, Kristen Florance, had devastatingly died from ovarian cancer five years previously, at the age of 53.
December is always a month of mixed emotions – the things I celebrate, like my wife’s birthday, our wedding anniversary and Christmas sit alongside the birthday of Mary, forever 44 years old, and the birthday of Mary’s daughter.
My niece turned 16 earlier this week and, by all accounts is thriving at school, socially (she has her first boyfriend!) and with athletics and hockey but I am always aware of the fact that she never had the opportunity to know her mother and the extraordinary person she was – robbed of more than forty years of life because of breast cancer.
Please do the easiest thing you can do to prevent breast cancer: women – check your breasts, and men – please ask the women in your life to check their breasts.