Walk for awareness

Bev Bertocchi is walking to raise money to find a cure for Mesothelioma.
Bev Bertocchi is walking to raise money to find a cure for Mesothelioma.

The Mt Pleasant resident is the face of the society’s 2013 Walk for Research and Awareness and said she was proud to be the face for a cause close to her heart.

Ms Bertocchi’s husband Steve, a Wittenoom kid, died of mesothelioma in September 2009 and his mother two years earlier.

‘It is really scary to know that one loving member of a family dies of mesothelioma every day in WA alone.’

Together with a team of like-minded walkers, Ms Bertocchi is currently on a five-day trek from Dunsborough to Perth, stopping off in towns for a series of meetings.

The annual walk started last year when Ms Bertocchi and a group of people aged 17 to 84 walked from Kalgoorlie to Perth.

‘I was finally ready to walk and talk with others in a similar situation. They had all been touched by the disease in one way or another,’ she said.

She said money raised would go to much needed research funding.

The number of cases of asbestos-related diseases is yet to peak in Australia. ASDA reports that up to 45,000 people could die in the next two decades if a cure is not found.

So far, asbestos-related diseases have claimed the lives of more than 2000 Wittenoom workers and their families.

‘It is frightening because you never think you are going to get it,’ she said.

Ms Bertocchi hopes the walk raises more than the $75,000 they raised last year.