Mother’s Day Classic Calls For Greater Action To Achieve Better Health Outcomes For Women

February 23, 2024

Mothers Day Classic 2023 Melbourne Sunday, May 14, 2023.

Stepping up for breast and ovarian cancer research

Organisers of Australia’s most loved national fun run and walk, the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic (MDC), today called for more to be done to increase funding for research to improve survival rates for breast and ovarian cancer.

At the official launch of the 2024 Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic in Melbourne, MDC CEO Zara Lawless made a commitment to increasing money for medical research, to elevate women’s health, prevent deaths from breast cancer, and improve the survival outcomes for ovarian cancer.

The MDC is the biggest donor to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, having raised $44 million over the past 26 years. In that time the five-year relative survival rate for breast cancer has increased from 84 per cent to 92 per cent.

For the first time, this year’s annual event, in which more than 70,000 participants will walk or run nationwide on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 12, will also raise money for ovarian cancer research, partnering with the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynaecological cancer, which claims the life of a woman every eight hours in Australia.

Ms Lawless said: “Through events like the Mother’s Day Classic and the public support of medical research, the rates of survival for those diagnosed with breast cancer have improved dramatically.

“We know that the job isn’t done yet, and we remain committed to achieving the goal of zero deaths from breast cancer. From this day forward we are also determined to make a difference to the outcomes for women with ovarian cancer.”

The five-year relative survival rate for ovarian cancer is just 49 per cent, with 1,054 deaths every year.

“Tragically over the last 30 years, treatment advances for ovarian cancer have been limited, there is no method of early detection, and recurrence rates are very high.  Just as the Mother’s Day Classic founders said in 1998, this is not good enough, so we say it’s not good enough today. Only research can change this.

“This is why the Mother’s Day Classic has decided to go further and expand its reach and impact so participants can run or walk in support of ovarian cancer research, in addition to breast cancer research.

We want to accelerate progress toward the day when every woman diagnosed with either breast or ovarian cancer will be given the assurance that they can survive.”

For the 2024 Mother’s Day Classic, 70,000-plus people will start their day by walking or running at one of more than 70 locations across the country to support and honour those touched by breast cancer or ovarian cancer.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation both acknowledge that research is the key to improving outcomes for women and saving lives.

Associate Professor Cleola Anderiesz, National Breast Cancer Foundation CEO, said: “we can be very proud of the progress made to reduce deaths from Breast cancer, but the job is not done. Research is central and critical to improving breast cancer outcomes. Receiving a significant contribution every year from the Mother’s Day Classic Foundation, for 26 years, has been instrumental in funding research and helping the National Breast Cancer Foundation make progress towards our vision of Zero Deaths from breast cancer.”

Robin Penty, Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation CEO, said: “The OCRF celebrates the success of the Mother’s Day Classic and its ongoing commitment to improving women’s cancer survival rates through funding life-changing research.

“We’re proud of the OCRF’s growing impact in raising awareness and critical funding for ovarian cancer research and we can’t wait to walk shoulder to shoulder in support of women’s health this May.”

Registrations are now open for the 27th Mother’s Day Classic at Participants can save up to 33% with VIP pricing, plus ‘Kids Go Free in Feb’. T’s and C’s Apply.

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