It’s been 25 years since Kate Mitrovski’s father died from brain cancer, and it saddens her that survival rates have barely changed in that time.
Which is why the Horsley woman works hard to raise funds for research into the deadly disease, by organising the annual Wollongong Walk4BrainCancer event.
The fourth annual walk is on this Sunday and almost 400 people have already registered, so far raising $35,000 for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
“My dad Stojan was diagnosed with stage four brain cancer at the age of 34,” Ms Mitrovski said.
“Sadly he passed away 12 months following his surgery, leaving behind mum who was 30 at the time and three young children.
“That was 25 years ago and it’s devastating to me that not much has changed.
“Brain cancer currently kills more children than any other disease and more people under 40 than any other cancer. These statistics need to change.”
The event, held at Beaton Park athletics track, has raised more than $100,000 since 2015.
“The walk gives me the opportunity to raise funds and awareness, and to honour my dad’s memory,” Ms Mitrovski said.
“It’s an event that allows everyone to come together and support each other, share their journey and remember their loved ones.
“It’s also a chance to celebrate survivors and to give hope to those still battling brain cancer.”
The Wollongong event is one of around 40 walks held across Australia, raising more than $2 million annually for the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
Each year some 1600 Australians are diagnosed with brain cancer and 1200 will die.
“Charities like the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation don’t get much government funding which is why they need community support for their vital research,” Ms Mitrovski said.
“I’m thankful for the support our event gets from the Wollongong community, and this year is shaping up to be our best yet.”
Register online at www.walk4braincancer.com.au, or from 9am on the day, prior to the walk (2-5km) which starts at 10am.