First they danced the quick step on Dancing With The Stars, now AFL legend Jude Bolton and his wife Lynette are taking a step of a different kind, helping the 44 Australian women diagnosed every day with breast cancer. As ambassadors for HCF's Walk With Us initiative they will each lead a team in the Mother's Day Classic and are calling on the nation to join them in walking towards zero deaths from breast cancer, the most commonly diagnosed life-threating cancer facing Australian women.
Walk With Us is a partnership between Australia's largest not-for-profit health insurer, HCF and the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF), helping to raise much needed funds for breast cancer research. For every person who joins Team HCF for Walk With Us at Mother's Day Classic, HCF will donate $100 and $10 for every selfie tagged #walkwithus* to NBCF.
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their life time and eight women lose their battle every day.
That's why research to find a cure is vital. Every journey starts with a single step and research to prevent deaths from breast cancer is no different. This Mother's Day all Australians can make a difference not only for mothers but for all women, one step and one kilometre at a time.
Former AFL star and Sydney Swans legend Jude Bolton may have stopped kicking goals a few years ago, but by getting involved with Walk With Us he plans to help score the ultimate win for breast cancer research.
'Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers Australian women and their families face so it's important for us to do what we can to make a difference. Having two young daughters – Siarra and Piper (four years and 18 months) – I'd like to see a cure for breast cancer discovered in their lifetime," says Jude.
'While research is the best way to prevent deaths from this devastating disease, early detection is also key to increasing survival so I encourage all women to stay vigilant with self-examinations and mammograms," Lynette added.
However, even though it's all for a good cause there's still some healthy competition between husband and wife, with each vying to be first to the finish line. 'There's nothing wrong with some competition so I'm intending to give Jude a run for his money. I've been training hard so don't bet on him being first!" concludes Lynette.
Even though the Bolton's are used to competing against each other, they won't be sharing the field; Jude will be leading a team in Melbourne, while Lynette will lead a team in Sydney. Mother's Day Classic is the largest community fun run in Australia and will be held in 11 metro cities and 94 regional towns nationally, attracting over 130,000 participants.
Register for Team HCF and Walk With Us at www.hcf.com.au/walkwithus.
Jude and Lynette Bolton tips for the big day:
1. Eat well and fuel up: Make sure you have a nutritious dinner the night before and breakfast the day of the event, so your body is fuelled and ready to go.
2. Make sure you stay hydrated: Drinking water before, during and after the race will keep you hydrated. Avoid alcohol or excessive amounts of caffeine on race day and the day before.
3. Stretch before and after the race: Stretching will reduce the muscle ache that everyone feels after a big race or a long walk. Stretching before helps you be ready for your walk or run and stretching after helps your muscles bounce back quickly.
4. Get active: Incorporate some exercise into your day in the weeks leading up to the event. Try walking 20-30 minutes at a reasonably brisk pace several times a week and you'll see a noticeable improvement. Give yourself a rest day in between exercise days.
5. Think about how every step is for the future of breast cancer: You've started your contribution to finding the cure for breast cancer, and every step you take should be filled with pride. Enjoy the race and stay active.
The Bolton's will be documenting the steps they're taking towards a cure for breast cancer on social media using the hashtag #WalkWithUs. So what are you waiting for? Walk With Us to make a difference, 1 km or selfie at a time.
Key Breast Cancer Facts:
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in Australia
44 Australian women are expected to be diagnosed every day in 2016, and 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
17,210 women are projected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020 in Australia, an average of 47 women every day.
8 women die every day from breast cancer in Australia.
Although rare, breast cancer can also affect men, accounting for about 1% of cases. Around 140 men are diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia each year.
National Breast Cancer Foundation has a goal to achieve zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030.
The five-year survival rate for women diagnosed with breast cancer is 90% but early detection is key. That's why it's important to stay vigilant with regular self- examinations and mammograms.
Mother's Day Classic events held nationally:
Question: What is the Walk With Us initiative?
Lynette Bolton: Walk With Us is a partnership between HCF and the National Breast Cancer Foundation to raise much needed funds for breast cancer research.
Jude Bolton: HCF will donate $100 to NBCF for anyone who registers under TEAM HCF and walks at any Mother's Day Classic event nationally, and will also donate $10 per mention of #walkwithus on social media with an accompanying picture or video of people being active.
Question: What inspired you to get involved with the Walk With Us initiative?
Lynette Bolton: It's a devastating disease and touches the lives of so many women and their families – 60,000 women are living with breast cancer in Australia right now. Every day 8 women lose their battle – that's 8 too many. So that's why we're supporting Walk With Us and raising funds for research to find a cure. While research is to finding a cure is vital, early diagnosis is key to improving survival. That's why it is so important to increase awareness of this disease and encourage women to stay vigilant with regular self-examinations and mammograms.
Jude Bolton: Research has also shown that an active lifestyle not only makes you feel better – but can also help to prevent some types of cancer which was a great reason for us to get behind Walk With Us.
Question: Where will you be completing the Mother's Day Classic?
Lynette Bolton: Jude is a panelist on Ch7 AFL GameDay that day in Melbourne on Mother's Day so he'll be doing the 8km down there, and I'll be in Sydney. I'm probably going to do the run myself and then have the kids and some friends and family join me for the walk too.
Question: What do you hope to achieve with the Walk With Us initiative?
Lynette Bolton: Every bit of money raised is going to research to help find a cure. So the more money raised, the closer we can get to supporting National Breast Cancer Foundation's goal of zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030. Plus, it's so important to help raise awareness of breast cancer generally too. Early detection is really vital to improving survival so this also is encouraging women to stay vigilant with self-examinations and mammograms.
Question: Can you talk us through your own personal experience with the disease?
Jude Bolton: My mum had a scare a number of years ago after finding a lump. I remember driving her to the hospital to have scans and it was a tough time for the whole family while we waited to find out the diagnosis. Lucky for us, Mum was given the all clear but that's not the case for so many women and in fact, my Aunty has also battled breast cancer too. So having witnessed first-hand the effect this disease can have on families, made me want to get behind this campaign and do what I can to make a difference.
Lynette Bolton: We also have two young daughters – I really hope to see a discovery of a cure in their lifetime, so if we can do our bit to achieve this - we absolutely will.
Question: How can Australians get involved in the Walk With Us initiative?
Jude Bolton: People can either sign up to join Team HCF participating at a Mother's Day Classic Event near them. There's step by step instructions for how to register at hcf.com.au/walkwithus. But even if they can't make a Mother's Day Classic event or if there isn't one nearby, they can still get involved and make a difference by tagging a photo of them getting active with #walkwithus on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and HCF will donate $10 to breast cancer research.
Question: Will you be competing against each other to see who's team gets over the line, first?
Lynette Bolton: Absolutely! Nothing like a bit of healthy competition – Jude still goes on about how he stayed one week longer than me in Dancing with the Stars so this is my opportunity to get back at him. There's nothing like good bit of competitive spirit! But in all seriousness, no matter who wins, the fact that every step is going to a great cause is serious motivation to get to the finish line.
Question: How are you training for the event?
Jude Bolton: I try to get to the gym regularly. Getting a few longer runs in and some cross-fit type exercises. Lynette has also been doing some running but also a lot of KX Pilates.
Question: And, how else are you preparing for the event?
Jude Bolton: Lynette and I both eat healthy food (most of the time!) so that will help us both in the event as you need to fuel your body right.
Question: How do you stay motivated to live a healthy lifestyle?
Lynette Bolton: For us it's about being able to chase the kids around in the long term and getting the most out of life. Jude obviously was a professional footballer (now washed up! ha) and has always looked after himself so in that sense it just becomes a habit to eat well and keep reasonably fit and active.
Question: What's next, for you?
Lynette Bolton: Spending a lot of time with the girls in between laughing my online wedding planning courses and continuing my work with Ch7 and Yahoo7.
Jude Bolton: Well, the footy season rolls on so that takes up a lot of focus as a commentator now but hopefully some travel with the family later in the year.
HCF is Australia's largest –not-for-profit health insurer, currently covering more than 1.5 million Australians. To learn more about HCF go to http://www.hcf.com.au/about-us
The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) is the leading community-funded organisation in Australia raising money for research into the prevention and cure of breast cancer. In total, since 1994, NBCF has awarded more than $127 million to around 430 Australian-based research projects to improve the health and well-being of those affected by breast cancer. In 2016 NBCF has committed over $12 million to fund more than 30 research projects that will contribute towards our goal of zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030. www.nbcf.org.au
The Mother's Day Classic walk or run for breast cancer research was established in 1998 - it started from modest beginnings as a walk in the park and has grown into a major national community event. From the inaugural events in Melbourne and Sydney which attracted approximately 3,200 people the event has now become an integral part of Mother's Day morning for more than 135,000 Australians who enjoy getting up early to walk or run and raise money for breast cancer research. In 2014, a record of 130,000 people across Australia ran or walked in a Mother's Day Classic event in eleven cities and 88 regional locations. http://www.mothersdayclassic.com.au/
Interview by Brooke Hunter