Women wage war on cancer

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.”

• Valerie Dixon. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

• Valerie Dixon. Photo by Matthew Dwyer

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

870 OPSM 10x7

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