In one powerful moment, Kylie Beard caught the eye of Hollywood hunk Hugh Jackman – and found her life’s purpose.
The breast cancer fighter, who has triple negative breast cancer and carries the ominous BRCA gene, attended Jackman’s Perth show last year and waved a home-made sign at the actor which read: "Please hug me, Hugh. My boobs are trying to kill me".
The result? She got a hug from the heartthrob and an important platform to raise awareness about devastating women’s cancer.
Kylie will take part in the Hawaiian Walk for Women’s Cancer on May 2, representing Hawaiian’s Melville as participants fundraise at least $1000 each for the Harry Perkins Institute for Medical Research. And in a remarkable feat, just weeks after finishing her eighth round of chemotherapy, Kylie will take on the 42km marathon distance with her army of friends, family and supporters.
“I want every woman who has suffered with cancer to come out at the Walk and celebrate that she has conquered it or to have a support network who are walking for her, if she can’t do it,” Kylie, 43, says.
“Even if I have to get a baby pram converted into an adult pram and they can push me! If it means I am in a wheelchair being pushed – I am still going to do it.”
Last year, good friends walked the event on Kylie’s behalf as she was enduring the anxious wait to find out what type of cancer she had. It was a highly stressful and emotional time, but Kylie embraced her friends at the finish line and met inspirational Perth breast physician Dr Sarah Paton who talked her through what she could expect. The two became firm friends with Dr Paton revealing she will walk for Kylie this year.
Read Sarah Paton’s story HERE
“The Hawaiian Walk for Women’s cancer, for me, was a massive group hug,” she explains of the experience. “All the walkers said to me, ‘we are here for you and let’s all get together and fight for this’.”
Devastatingly, Kylie’s two sisters, Natalie, 45 and Nicole, 41 also have the BRCA 1 mutation gene; meaning they are more vulnerable to women’s cancer.
Kylie has had a double mastectomy, lymph nodes removed and many cycles of chemotherapy. This year, she will also have her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed as well as a breast reconstruction.
When asked why she is undertaking the Hawaiian Walk for Women’s cancer to raise much-needed funds for the Harry Perkins Institute, Kylie is clear: “I am walking so no other woman will have to go through what I have – especially my sisters.”
In a mark of her stoicism, Kylie says it has been worse to hear of another person’s cancer diagnosis than it was to learn of her own.
“This is what it is, and I just have to get on with it; there are people who are worse off.
“Something I have always struggled with is wondering - what is my purpose in life? And I really think that was meant to happen with Hugh Jackman, because he gave me a platform to speak about breast cancer and I really feel like I can be that voice.”
To register for the Walk or to make a donation, please visit: