Watching friends, family and colleagues battle cancer has inspired Denise Cunningham to fight on their behalf.
She was one of the pioneers of the early versions of the Walk for Women’s Cancer, when the event was carried out over two days and participants were expected to cover more than 60km.
It was tough. But as the Harry Perkins Institute for Medical Research reminds us; cancer is tougher.
Today, the Hawaiian Walk for Women’s Cancer is a 35km or marathon length 42km event – and the purpose is to fundraise money to support critical medical research by the Harry Perkins Institute into women’s cancers.
Each participant must fundraise a minimum of $1000 which will go to research into women’s cancer at the Harry Perkins Institute.
Denise took part in the 2015 Walk with a close friend who was fighting breast cancer. Her friend struggled to complete the event, but Denise persevered on.
“People kept asking me, ‘are you OK?’ and I thought, my leg ain’t broken and these people are going through cancer. When I crossed the line it was elation, I was invincible,” Denise recalls.
Since then she has completed every Walk event, determined to walk for a cure for women’s cancer. Her friend has received her five-year clearance since her breast cancer fight, adding to Denise’s determination.
This year, Denise will represent Hawaiian’s Forrestfield community when she takes part alongside her team, aptly named, The Blister Sisters.
“I have had friends, family and colleagues that have died from cancer and this inspires me to keep on walking,” Denise, 63, says.
“We have got to find a cure. The donations and the money raised in the Hawaiian Walk for Women’s Cancer goes to the researchers. Without the money they can’t continue their research; they have to stop until they get funding.
“I am just passionate to keep it going because we have to find a cure.”
Asked why she is taking part in the Walk, Denise says: “I am walking because I can make a difference.”
To register for the Walk or to make a donation, please visit: