It was in January last year that the Melville Plaza client service manager finally gave into her sister’s constant prompts to have a mammogram – her first – at the age of 54.
Three weeks later, the radiologist asked her to come back for some further tests after detecting a dark shadow in her left breast.
“Dianne actually had breast cancer four years before me, but even so, you always think it is never going to happen to you,” Mrs Walton said.
“I was putting it off and didn’t want to do it and if it wasn’t for my sister’s nagging, I probably wouldn’t have done it.”
The tests showed Mrs Walton did have breast cancer, but fortunately it was stage 1 and had been detected early.
“You can see your doctor talking to you, but you can’t hear anything she is saying as you are in shock,” she said.
“I had an operation to remove the cancer and then every morning for six weeks I went to my radiotherapy sessions.
“It was a very small sacrifice as I’m still here to tell everyone about my journey.”
Early next month, Mrs Walton will be one of hundreds walking in the 60km Hawaiian Weekend to End Women’s Cancers to support the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research.
“I was really lucky and didn’t lose my breast, so I feel I’m walking for all the ones who weren’t as lucky as I was and didn’t get the best possible result,” she said.
With the support of the local community, Mrs Walton has already exceeded her initial $2000 fundraising target.
The Rotary Club of Melville, which runs the swap meet markets every Sunday morning at Melville Plaza, donated $1000 to her fundraising efforts.
Plus Fitness provided Mrs Walton with a stationary bicycle, which she rode for an hour every Tuesday in November in the shopping centre mall to raise awareness and funds, as well as a gym membership to help her train for the walk.
The Weekend to End Women’s Cancers takes place on April 2 and 3.