On Sunday 26 February, Cathy Alexopoulos will join hundreds of Australians raise money and awareness for ovarian cancer. Families touched by the cancer; children, grandchildren; sons and even pet dogs will be walking or running to improve women’s health and quality of life.

As a survivor of ovarian cancer, Alexopoulos has participated in the We Can Walk It Out event, along with her family and friends, for over five years. And every year, she recruits more people to raise awareness and funds for the ‘silent killer’.

“We take our prams with us now with grandchildren and my brother comes, my niece, my nephew and my son belongs to this women’s group / soccer club and he entices the girls to come along too,” Alexopoulos told Neos Kosmos.

She says that every year she’s attended the event has gotten bigger and better. Not only a fun healthy day, it’s an educational day as the event hosts high profiled people, such as Associate Professor Michael Quinn, director of gynaecological oncology at the Royal Women’s Hospital, to talk about the latest developments, and treatments and cures from the year before.

“For females especially, and for males, I think it’s very important to understand this is not something that is going to go away, we live with it so we have to be aware that unless we raise our hands and do something about it no one else will. And we have to be proactive and by doing a fun healthy thing, and what we do after this we go for a wonderful breakfast, we don’t just stop there,” she said.

Alexopoulos said it’s paramount that we understand that ovarian cancer can touch any female from any ethnic background, and said it’s important to raise awareness by talking about it in your social group. Around one in eleven women are affected by ovarian cancer, and we need to ask more questions, be more aware and open minded by taking part in events such as these.

“There’s been a lot of awareness about breast cancer but ovarian cancer, which is even more dangerous for women as it’s usually detected when it’s too late, there’s not been that much said,” explains Alexopoulos.

“And yet there’s been a lot of breakthroughs and a lot of women have been able to survive.”

We Can Walk It Out 2012 will take place at Kings Domain, Alexandra Avenue at the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne on Sunday 26 February. You can chose whether or not you want to take part in the Fun 8km, 4km run or 4km walk. The event is proudly supported by GE and the City of Melbourne. To register or for more information visit womenscancerfoundation.org.au/events