Striding out in support


Mullaloo resident Michelle Spratling.
Picture: Martin Kennealey
       www.communitypix.com.au   d448448
Mullaloo resident Michelle Spratling. Picture: Martin Kennealey        www.communitypix.com.au d448448

In 2014, Mrs Russo was the top individual fundraiser taking part in the first ever Weekend to End Women’s Cancers.

The 34-year-old mother of two had recently been cleared of a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer, which inspired her to take part in the fundraising event for the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.

However, not long after the walk, she found the cancer had returned. Mrs Russo died in February.

Since then, her family, friends and fellow school mums have launched Leanne’s Wish in her memory, raising money for various cancer organisations.

Mrs Spratling’s sister-in-law was a close friend of Mrs Russo.

“As a distant bystander watching the heart-wrenching events of the last three years unfold, I felt so helpless,” Mrs Spratling said.

“Taking part in this walk and supporting Leanne’s sister Carly and her team is a small way to help in such a devastating situation.

“The amazing doctors and support staff at Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research provide vital research into cancer and provide hope that this terrible disease may have a cure in our lifetime.”

This is the first time Mrs Spratling has taken part in an event like this. To prepare, she has started walking to work three days a week and aims to complete two 30km walks before the big event on April 2 and 3.

Mrs Spratling is set to exceed her fundraising goal of $3000, having already raised $2800.

“I cannot thank all involved enough,” she said. “It has been truly humbling the amount of support I have received.

“The opportunity to take part in such a massive event with a team of passionate people makes me feel proud.”

To donate, go to bit.ly/1V7e8lE.