Raising Funds for Weekend to End Women’��s Cancers

Valerie Dixon and her daughter Michelle Kennedy. Picture: David Baylis           d448764
Valerie Dixon and her daughter Michelle Kennedy. Picture: David Baylis         d448764

WHILE most people diagnosed with cancer may lose their hair because of chemotherapy, Valerie Dixon said she lost hers from shock.

Mrs Dixon said her hair started to fall out after finding out she had breast cancer in 2013.

“I didn’t show emotion and the doctor said ‘you’re very calm’, but on the inside it was a tornado,” she said.

After her last treatment in late 2013, Mrs Dixon’s family got behind her efforts to raise money for cancer research by joining the Weekend to End Women’s Cancers in 2014.

Mrs Dixon and her daughter Michelle Kennedy will walk 60km over two days on April 2 and 3 for their third time in the event, which will benefit the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research in Nedlands.

Mrs Kennedy said the event was a very emotional weekend where she and her mother had made friends who were now in their walking team of 14.

“There’s a great camaraderie atmosphere and so emotional – even the people seeing the family off are teary,” she said.

“All the survivors tell their stories and being able to talk to others who have been through it has been helpful for us and for mum.”

On the Saturday night, participants camp out and have a night of festivities before continuing the walk the following morning.

“I hate walking with a passion but the fundraising helps and hopefully people won’t have to struggle like mum has,” Mrs Kennedy said.

“It’s a great bonding experience.”

Mrs Dixon, who lived in Inglewood until late last year, said she came to the Inglewood on Beaufort markets every week and set up a stall and collection tins.

Mrs Dixon and her team hope to raise $28,000, with personal targets of $2000 each.

“At 70 I need the training (to walk the 60km) but I’ll keep doing it for as long as I can,” she said.