INGLEWOOD’S Valerie Dixon has been stalked by cancer her entire life.
Her mother and sister-in-law died of breast cancer, her father and brother of bowel cancer, and her sister survived the disease.
In 2013, Ms Dixon was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a lumpectomy and six weeks of radiation treatment. The sanguine 69-year-old beat the disease and now is determined to help cancer sufferers by going on a 60km two-day charity walk.
“We went on a 20km trial walk around Perth last weekend, but us girls got talking and ended up getting lost,” she laughs. “We ended up doing 25km instead.”
The mother of four says because of the family history of cancer, her daughter is very conscious about going for regular check-ups. “Every woman should be vigilant and go for regular mammograms and do self-checks,” she says.
“The lump in my breast was very deep and if I hadn’t gone for a mammogram I probably wouldn’t be here today.”
In preparation for the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers, Ms Dixon walks 6km every morning.
“I’ve never been a very sporty person and I turn 70 next year, but having been touched by the cancer, I determined to help raise money to fight it,” says the chirpy ex-Londoner.
“Around one in three women will develop a form of cancer before the age of 85.”
Funds raised from the March 28/29 walk will go to Perth’s Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.
To donate or participate visit http://www.endcancer.org.au.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK