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Over 1100 walkers raise more than $1.4m for cancer research

01/05/23 - A record 1153 walkers hit Perth streets this morning on the 10th annual New Town Toyota Walk for Women’s Cancer.

Together they have raised more than $1.45m for cancer research at Perth’s Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

Director of the Perkins, Professor Peter Leedman, said the walkers will cover either 35km or 42kms, starting and finishing at Riley Oval, UWA.

“Community support is critical to help fund the hunt for better cancer treatments and potential cures”, he said.

“This year walkers are directly funding research to find a targeted treatment for triple negative breast cancer from honeybee venom.

“Triple negative breast cancer is notoriously difficult to treat, yet one of our researchers discovered a component in honeybee venom that kills cancer cells in all types of breast cancer.

“That research is ongoing and will take substantial investment and several years to develop as a future treatment but we are hopeful it will make a difference in the future to the many women diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Another research team at the Harry Perkins Institute is analysing the genetics of why some women with hormone driven breast cancer become resistant to treatment.

“All of this research is greatly helped by the effort our community makes in supporting the annual New Town Toyota Walk for Women’s Cancer,” he said.

Walkers start at UWA, travel up through King’s Park, cross the Windan Bridge, walk past the Optus Stadium, circle the river, cross the Narrows Bridge and return to the university.

Cancer survivor, Michele Librizzi has completed all but one of the last 9 walks.

“When I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I was 36 years old and had three children.

“One year later, at 37 I discovered I had a different cancer, this time breast cancer.

“It was absolutely shocking to hear I had a different cancer, not linked to ovarian. This time the primary cancer was in both breasts.

“My daughter, Rachel, used to drive me to get to hospital appointments every couple of weeks. She got all of her learner hours up for her driving test.” Michele said.

Having a daughter is one of the main reasons Michele walks in the annual New Town Toyota Walk for Women’s Cancer.

“I walk and raise money for cancer research in the hope that if this ever happened to her, scientists will have discovered new treatments or even cures by then.”

Some walkers are completing the event as an individual challenge with some covering 35kms on Rottnest, in Sydney, in Vancouver and for one, between hillside towns in Tuscany.

“The Walk for Women’s Cancer has really captured people’s hearts. We’ve even had two men in Queensland cover their 35kms on an underwater treadmill”, Professor Leedman said.

In the past decade the event has raised over $12m for cancer research at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

Fast Facts

  • 20,428 Australian women diagnosed with breast cancer in 2022

  • 3,178 Australian women died of breast cancer in 2022


Media Contacts: Miriam Borthwick

M 0437 411 683




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