The first year Emma Maiden ran down the finish chute at the Women in Super Mother’s Day Classic she did so hand in hand with her husband.
That year she ran in memory of her mother, and to celebrate her own victory over breast cancer.
Now each year she runs for her own children…she runs to help find a cure.
“I walked the MDC with my Mum after she was diagnosed. We didn’t make it a yearly thing but it reminds me of her. I was pretty fit when I was diagnosed but not a runner. I decided very early on I wanted to run it the year after my diagnosis. Once I’d had all my surgery I started training,” she said.
Emma’s mother passed away from breast cancer in 2004, Emma was diagnosed in 2013. Four separate surgeries including a double mastectomy followed.
“I always knew I was high risk and said if I was diagnosed I would have a mastectomy (not lumpectomy like Mum). I ended up having a double mastectomy. No regrets. The second mastectomy diagnosed another cancer in my other breast,” she said.
Emma is the first female Assistant Secretary of Unions NSW, Director of Legalsuper and a mother of two. Each year she runs the Mother’s Day Classic resolute this disease is not passed to future generations.
“I have a strong family history of the disease but I don’t have the gene,” she said. “I run the Mother’s Day Classic with my family and I captain the Unions NSW team, which grows in number each year.”
While she would love a sleep in on Mother’s Day, Emma loves the atmosphere at the Mother’s Day Classic.
“The people that run with me and support me are very special. This year, even more of my family members are taking part. I see friends from all different parts of my life taking part,” she said.
Emma has experienced the generational battles many families wage against breast cancer, losing her mother, going through breast cancer herself and worrying for her daughters, which is why she believes events like the Mother’s Day Classic are so important.
“For me it serves three key purposes. Putting breast cancer in the spotlight and encouraging women to check their breasts. It raises money for a cure. It creates a community of supporters for those living with breast and those that have been left behind,” she said.