This year Ladies Program Coordinators organised a national involvement in the Mother’s Day Classic Walk which took place on Sunday, 13 May. It was a new experience for many, but one which was a huge success and enjoyable and rewarding in unexpected ways.
In 2017, the ACT Region organised a team to participate in the annual Mother’s Day Classic Walk, a national community event organised by Women in Super. The walk is primarily aimed at raising funds for breast cancer research and raising awareness of the disease and support for women affected by it.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among Australian women. It is estimated that over 18000 women will be diagnosed with it in 2018. Men are not immune to this either, although the numbers are very small compared to women. Raising awareness, providing support and helping research into this disease is a worthy service and after ACT’s experience of the previous year, one felt to be especially suited to our Ladies Program by its coordinators.
The SSIO Ladies Program Coordinators vigorously promoted the Walk for this first year’s national involvement, resulting in teams from ACT, NSW, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia contributing about 170 participants. These included women, men, youths and children.
In some places, the weather was far from perfect for such an event, however, it was good to see the windy, cold morning did not stop the enthusiasm of participants! The feedback was very positive. The general feelings of participants was a sense that they were contributing to something special and needful with a experience of camaraderie by sharing the event with so many caring others. There were a number of people touched by cancer in the teams and comments by them indicated how useful and important this undertaking by the SSIO was to them. The sense of support and care they felt was something they really appreciated.
The following are a few personal reflections about the walk.
Observations of cancer sufferers:
“It was a fulfilling experience for me especially identifying myself so closely with the cause. It convinced me of the proverb “Where there is a Will, there is a Way”. It was a true victory for me and would like to ensure others that Life is beautiful and live every moment happily. Looking forward for the walk next year…”
“(The) initial shock of a cancer diagnosis had a huge impact on my family as the feelings of depression, anxiety and fear set in. It is a long journey and you are worried and frustrated asking why it happens. Uniting here and walking together with our ladies gave me positive energy.”
Observations by another of the SSIO members:
“There was awesome dedication and support from each other. It was terrible windy weather. I personally wasn’t 100% but managed to walk the full 5km. The amount of love was amazing. The participants were from various backgrounds, kids walking, strolling, tired but everyone had patience and ensured we cared for each other. The end was a feeling of satisfaction and ensured we all united”.
The organisers of the Walk list groups by category and numbers. It was pleasing to see the SSIO was highly placed in a number of locations. It is hoped that this event will attract even more SSIO people next year.