One in seven women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, a fact of life Mother’s Day Classic ambassador Louise Momber is determined to change.
Ms Momber uses her communication skills as a journalist, her insight as a daughter who lost both parents to cancer, and her passion as the mother of two young girls to do her bit to eradicate the disease.
“I’d really love for breast cancer not just to be part of the community, not just to be something that you accept is always going to be there,” she said.
Ms Momber’s mother, Liz, died of cancer in 2012, two months after seeing her daughter marry Seven Network journalist, Rob Scott.
Two months later, her father, Peter, died of cancer as well.
Ms Momber said she wanted young Australians, including her daughters, six-year-old Ivy and three-year-old Margot, to live to see a cancer-free future.
“So, I’m doing a really small part to try and encourage awareness, and to just push as hard as we can to eventually find a cure.”
The dedicated fundraiser will direct her energy to the Mother’s Day Classic in Canberra this year, where her family has relocated for a couple of years while her husband reports on federal politics.
Ms Momber originally became involved with the annual fun run and walk through her work at 9 News Perth, and her mum joined in too.
“She herself was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, so when she came along with me in 2008, it was a really special morning.
“She was on the other side of her battle with breast cancer, but she was surrounded by these wonderful like-minded people who all had the same goal.”
Mother and daughter continued to walk the Mother’s Day Classic together until 2010, when Liz was diagnosed with another form of cancer which proved fatal.
“We always vowed to do it together, and so now I have my own daughters, I want to carry on the tradition,” Ms Momber said.
“And I just want to make them really aware of what the Mother’s Day Classic is, and what we’re trying to achieve.”
For her littlest, Margot, it is still mostly “an excuse to wear pink”, while her eldest, Ivy, is “starting to understand that there’s a much, much bigger mission involved”.
“It’s something that I hope I can continue doing for as long as the event is going on.
“And for me, all these years on, it still means as much to me now as it did back then.”
Over 23 years, the Mother’s Day Classic has raised $37.95 million for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
And progress is being made; the five-year breast cancer survival rate has increased from 76% to 91% since 1994.
But without continued research, 27,000 more lives will be lost by 2030, according to a Mother’s Day Classic fact sheet.
Since COVID-19, the Mother’s Day Classic has ‘gone local’, with staggered walks planned at Lake Burley Griffin and Lake Ginninderra from 8am on Mother’s Day, Sunday 9 May.
To register, donate or find more information, visit mothersdayclassic.com.au