2023 donation announcement

07 Aug 2023

2023 Mother's Day Classic Donates $2.5 Million to breast cancer research 

Support expands to women with ovarian cancer in 2024 

Australia’s most loved national fun run and walk, the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic (MDC), today announced a donation of $2.5 million to the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) for research to help achieve the goal of zero deaths from breast cancer.

It takes the total donated by the Mother’s Day Classic Foundation (MDCF) to NBCF over the past 26 years to $44 million. 

“This year 65,000 Australians in 73 locations across the country started their Mother’s Day with purpose, walking or running to support and honour those touched by breast cancer.” said Mother’s Day Classic CEO, Zara Lawless.

“The outpouring of support and generosity from participants and donors was inspirational, and the donation is a culmination of the hope, joy, strength and passion that embodies the Mother’s Day Classic.”

In 2023, the Mother’s Day Classic recorded incredible growth, with participation up 30 per cent on 2022 and the donation to NBCF up 70 per cent, the largest donation since 2017.

In 2024, the Mother’s Day Classic will expand its reach and impact by offering participants the opportunity to take part and fundraise in support of ovarian cancer research, in addition to breast cancer research.

Ms Lawless said: “The five-year relative survival rate for breast cancer has increased from 84 per cent to 92 per cent since the Mother’s Day Classic started in 1998. Through events like the Mother’s Day Classic the public support of medical research and the rates of survival have improved, recognising that there is still more to be done to achieve the goal of zero deaths from breast cancer.”

However, Ms Lawless said treatment advances in ovarian cancer have been limited, and treatment approaches have barely changed in 30 years.

“The five-year relative survival rate for ovarian cancer is just 49 per cent, with 1,054 deaths every year, and there remains no early detection test. This is why the Mother’s Day Classic has decided to go further in 2024 and invite our participants to run or walk in support of ovarian cancer research, in addition to breast cancer research.

“We want to accelerate progress towards the day where every woman diagnosed with either breast or ovarian cancer will be given the assurance that they can survive.’’

The National Breast Cancer Foundation and the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation both welcomed the initiative, and acknowledged that research is the key to improving outcomes for women and saving lives.

Associate Professor Cleola Anderiesz, National Breast Cancer Foundation CEO, said: “The National Breast Cancer Foundation has been a proud partner of the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic for 26 years, and in this time MDCF and the community have donated $44 million to support game-changing breast cancer research.

“As a completely community-funded organisation, and with over 3,200 people dying of breast cancer every year, we rely on the continued support of our community to reach our vision of Zero Deaths from breast cancer.

“We look forward to being part of the MDC event again in 2024, along with the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.”  

Robin Penty, Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation CEO, said: “The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation has a mission to make sure the place where all human life begins – the ovaries – is no longer a place where women’s lives end.

“This exciting new partnership with the Mother’s Day Classic Foundation will lead to a step-change in fundraising and awareness of the need for medical research into Australia’s most lethal reproductive cancer, and help all women and girls pay closer attention to their reproductive health as well.”

“On behalf of all those affected by ovarian cancer, and their families, we’re delighted to join this significant and much-admired national event on a very important day for mothers in our calendar.”

“We acknowledge and celebrate the great success of NBCF and MDCF in improving survival rates for breast cancer through research over the last two decades. We can’t wait to walk shoulder to shoulder with these great advocates next May.” 

In 2024, Mother’s Day Classic participants will have the option of taking part in support of and fundraising for breast cancer research, ovarian cancer research, or both.

“We wish to thank every single participant over the past 26 years, and we hope that more Australians will join us on Mother’s Day in future, so that one day a diagnosis of breast or ovarian cancer will not fill women and their families with dread,” Ms Lawless added.

“Together we can reduce the uncertainty of whether they can be treated and will survive, by supporting one another and raising funds for medical research.”

On Sunday, May 12, 2024, the 27th Mother’s Day Classic will once again inspire and unite the community and deliver another extraordinary result for both breast cancer and ovarian cancer research.