FOR Kate Justin, taking part in yesterday’s Mother’s Day Classic at Warrnambool helped affirm she was on the road to good health.
Mrs Justin, 41, of Terang, was diagnosed with breast cancer in November and has since undergone two surgical operations.
Today she will undergo her sixth and final round of chemotherapy before tackling radiotherapy.
She felt “excellent” after yesterday doing the classic’s four-kilometre walk and set herself the goal of next year doing the event’s four-kilometre run.
She was buoyed not only by her family, who also participated, but by the “awesome” crowd of more than 900 people who took part.
Mrs Justin said that when she told her family she was going to do the walk, they all said they would join her.
Her husband Wayne did the event’s eight-kilometre run, her son Thomas, 12, did the four-kilometre run and her eight-year-old daughter Lizzie did the four-kilometre walk.
With youth on their side, both of her children were well ahead of her but were there at the finish to walk with her over the line, making it an emotional moment for the family.
Among the others taking part in the walk was a large contingent of about 40 people from Terang, many of whom exercise at the Terang Fitness Centre.
The Terang group had members taking part in the event’s range of challenges from the four-kilometre walk to the eight-kilometre run.
The big turnout for yesterday’s classic turned the Warrnambool foreshore into a field of pink with some wearing pink wigs atop their pink apparel.
One of the event organisers Karen Anderson said the “fantastic” turnout of more than 900 people was up by about 350 on last year’s number.
Mrs Anderson said the event raised more than $17,000 for research by the National Breast Cancer Foundation, a significant increase on last year’s amount.
She said many families with members from a number of generations took part, with grandparents walking with their children and grandchildren.
She attributed the big increase in participation to more awareness of the event and good weather.
Mother’s Day Classic chairwoman Louise Davidson said this year’s event would bring the total raised throughout Australia during the classic’s 17 years to more than $20 million.
During those 17 years, five-year survival rates for those with breast cancer have improved significantly, rising from 72 per cent in the early 1990s to 89 per cent.