MOTHER'S Day is the toughest time of the year for Jakki Agostino as she remembers her mother, Ray, who lost her long battle with breast cancer 11 years ago.
There are always tears at lunch as the family comes together to celebrate the power of Mother's Day and the memory of a vivacious woman with a thick Scottish accent, who loved life and everyone she met.
Each Mother's Day since her mother's death, Mrs Agostino and her daughter, Grace, 12, pull on their running shoes and take part in the Mother's Day Classic at North Wollongong.
The event is a chance to do something positive about the disease that has claimed the lives of so many women - so many mothers.
"My mother was a person who always lit up the room," Mrs Agostino said.
"She died at 56, a year before she was to retire. So after the run we take our pink medals to the cemetery and lay them on her grave site with some flowers.
"This day is always a tribute to her and it pulls at the heart strings to see so many people here doing the same thing."