72-year-old New Zealand Cancer Survivor Walking Towards A Cure


Dianne
Wynyard.

A 72-year-old New Zealand
woman has captured the hearts of the town of Russell in the
Bay of Islands, walking her way to better health and raising
money for cancer research.

Dianne Wynyard is raising
funds for the Hawaiian Women’s
Cancer Challenge supported by property group Hawaiian,
to help deliver world class medical research that can save
and change lives.

Researchers at the Harry Perkins
Institute of Medical Research in Perth are part of a global
effort to use genetic analysis similar in style to COVID-19
efforts to fight women’s cancers which affect 1 in 7
women.

Wynyard was diagnosed with breast cancer in
2016 and says the Walk can change and save
lives.

“It’s such a wonderful cause and I
couldn’t think of any more worthwhile reason to get my
feet walking. As a by-product of this I have already
improved my health considerably.

“I have clots on my
lungs from radiation and did have a lot of trouble breathing
but because of my walking I now have little trouble or
bother at all.

“Anybody who wants to improve their
health and help a good cause along the way – get off the
couch, get your shoes on and get out there on the
path.”

Dianne has been humbled by the support she
has received from her local community in Russell in the Bay
of Islands as she has built up her regular walks from small
beginnings to more than 20km.

Dianne will walk 35km in
her hometown on September 26 and has so far, along with her
daughter, raised more than $15,000 for The
Perkins.

“I’m extremely fortunate to live in a
small town and the local support has been overwhelming. I
get lots of hellos and waves, people asking me how many
steps or kilometres I have done, car horns toot and the town
has got behind me financially as well,” Dianne
said.

The Women’s Cancer Challenge, supported by
property group Hawaiian, will help pioneering global
research similar in style to COVID-19 efforts to fight
women’s cancers which affect 1 in 7
women.

Researchers believe identifying genomic
profiles of tumours in individual patients will lead to
better treatment for patients.

Perkins Coordinator of
Translational Cancer Research Dr Louise Winteringham, who
grew up in New Zealand, says the Women’s Cancer Challenge
can make so much difference because the research is complex,
expensive and takes time to make life changing lab
discoveries.

“We are making great progress studying
tumours in a very in-depth manner,” Winteringham
said.

“As we build our patient databases and review
cancer genomes, we can get closer to delivering drugs that
provide better treatment of currently difficult to treat
cancers.

“There are still some extremely aggressive
forms of breast cancer where we don’t understand the gene
profile of these cancers which are very
nasty.

“For ovarian cancer, there is
currently no easy test for it and too often women have only
minor symptoms and it is often too late when cancer is
detected. We urgently need more research with ovarian cancer
patients to move closer to developing a simple blood test
which would change the abysmal outcomes that currently exist
for many women.

“We’re so delighted
Dianne is so passionate about making a difference. When
Australians and New Zealanders work together, we always see
fabulous results. All funds raised will help in our global
fight against this insidious disease.”

Dr
Winteringham says COVID-19 has shown how important medical
research can be and the public now has a better
understanding of the positive role it can
play.

“Just as people can see the importance of
understanding how the virus works and the importance of
contact tracing, for the work we do it is so important to
understand the genetic makeup of tumours so we can steadily
build towards better treatments.”

The Perkins is
investigating the development of innovative new treatments
for the cancers that don’t respond to conventional
medicines, such as triple negative breast cancer and serious
ovarian cancer.

The 2020 Challenge will be conducted
over 7 days to represent the 1 in 7 women diagnosed with
breast cancer. Participants can choose to walk a few
kilometres each day from September 20 or walk 35km on
Saturday 26 September.

For more information on the
walk visit www.walkforwomenscancer.org.au
and to support Dianne donate here.

© Scoop Media

 



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