The Whelan family walked together at the Mother's Day Classic in Tannum Sands on Sunday.
The Whelan family walked together at the Mother's Day Classic in Tannum Sands on Sunday.

Hundreds turn out at run to raise funds for cancer research

SEVEN hundred people turned out for the Mother's Day Classic breast cancer awareness fun run and walk in Tannum Sands on Sunday.

The Classic raised funds for breast cancer research and is the fifth to be held at Tannum Sands.

Kiarra Whelan was joined by her whole family for the event. She made it the full 8km despite having recently completed a six-month round of chemotherapy.

Ms Whelan was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and said keeping fit had been central to her survival strategy.

"I've kept up my fitness throughout. It was my main goal, and helped me a lot mentally," she said.

"I would always get up and do exercise before my next hit."

But for mothers whose have lost a child, Mother's Day was hard.

"You never forget children who have died," Gladstone mother of 10 Eileen Whelan said.

She lost her first child, Jowel-Margaret, less than a day after she was born.

More than 1700 babies are stillborn every year in Australia and 850 babies die within 28 days of birth, according to bereavement support group Sands Australia.

Mrs Whelan said her baby girl fought for 10 hours but didn't make it.

"It's very sad because I never got to see my baby. They didn't used to do that in those days," she said.

"My husband saw her though. They told him she fought really hard, and died three times."

Sands Australia's Christine Carroll said Sands had parent supporters around Australia who took calls and offered support to those who were grieving.

Mrs Whelan's family walked at the Mother's Day Classic breast cancer fundraising event.



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