After Dean lost his wife and love of his life Judith to ovarian cancer in March 2017, he has been determined to do something about it and has made raising funds and awareness for other women impacted by ovarian cancer his passion for the rest of his time.
Every February, he holds an event called ‘Judith’s Walk’ to raise money for Cancer Council SA.
Dean and Judith were regular walkers, and it was back in September 2015, when they returned home from one of their favourites—the walk along The Esplanade—that they first knew something was wrong.
“Judith was in severe abdominal pain, and we had to call an ambulance. She had an ultrasound at the hospital, and seven days later invasive surgery. The surgeon advised us it was ovarian cancer,” Dean says.
“Even during chemo, we continued to walk together whenever she felt up to it. I remember sometimes we would take the bus timetable with us, ready for ‘Plan B’. I was with her during every treatment and doctor’s appointments for 18 months, and I liked to think that support helped her get through it.
“Her final scan in February 2017 showed that the tumours were getting bigger. There had been a 40 per cent increase in just five weeks. It all became too much for her, one of the tumours penetrated the bowel, and she passed peacefully on 8 March 2017.
I was lost without her, so decided to honour her memory by recreating one of our fondest pastimes—walking the 6km Shiraz Trail from Willunga to McLaren Vale. Now, every February, the local community and I come together to complete the walk as part of my fundraising for Judith’s Legacy.
“Since having started Judith’s Legacy in 2017, it has expanded to much more—raffles, auctions, luncheons, car boot sales, movie afternoons and sausage sizzles. I’ve caught the fundraising bug.
“I’ve already raised over $68,000 but with the help of the South Australian community, I hope to raise $75,000.”
Every dollar Dean has raised goes towards helping Cancer Council SA support women impacted by ovarian cancer and their families through funding our vital support and prevention programs.
“I believe in what I am doing and the reason why. Because of that and the support of the community, Judith’s Legacy is making a difference.
“Judith’s Legacy is all about raising awareness and funds to help others like Judith—it’s my life passion for the rest of my time. But I can only do it with your help.”
Dean is busy organising two upcoming fundraising events in honour of Judith’s Legacy in February—during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month:
- Judith’s Breakfast will be held on Wednesday 8 February, featuring guest speaker Natalie May, ovarian cancer survivor and panel of experts answering questions about ovarian cancer. You can learn more and register to attend Judith’s Breakfast here.
- The sixth annual Judith’s Walk will be held on Sunday 26 February and will start at the Willunga Rose Garden and then continue along the Shiraz Trail to Kangarilla Road McLaren Vale. You can learn more and sign up to join Judith’s Walk here.
You can support South Australians impacted by ovarian and other gynaecological cancers by donating directly to Dean’s Do It For Cancer fundraiser, honouring Judith.