The inaugural Wonder Woman Walk (WWW) was held in 2016
The original participants numbered just 6 - with one more walker joining in at the half-way point due to the limitations imposed by a pre-existing injury. This beginning exemplifies the spirit of the walk:
"Get involved if you can. How you can. It's all for a good cause. And be sure to have fun – compulsory fun."
- Helen ‘Foxy’ Powell, WWW Founder
Within 4 years, the Wonder Woman Walk (now called Walk With Women) had grown to over 200 participants and in both 2019 and 2020, it was opened by Federal Minister for Health, The Hon Greg Hunt MP. Since its inception, the walk has raised over $80,000 for the OCRF. Helen was determined to do whatever she could to increase awareness of ovarian cancer; it’s symptoms, and the need for an early detection test, better treatments and funding. To this end, she was a force to be reckoned with, as she got to work encouraging women and men from across Australia and overseas to get involved, walking with, and for, the women in their lives.
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Walk With Women Founder
Helen was motivated to start the walk following her own diagnosis with Ovarian Cancer in 2013 at the age of 41.
After just 3 weeks of symptoms (which typically mimicked common female complaints) – belly bloating, tiredness and loss of appetite – she was told that she had Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer, which is an end-stage diagnosis.
Helen defied the odds and survived for almost 7 years following her diagnosis.
A beloved wife and mother of four gorgeous boys, a sister, a daughter, a niece, and a dear friend to many, Helen ran the walk for the next 3 years until her passing from the disease on Valentine's Day, 2020.
She lived life with a vigour, playfulness, caring, joy and grace that inspired, guided and comforted. And she was not just passionate but driven to raise awareness and funding for the OCRF, in support of it finding a reliable early detection test.
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Tributes to the Walk With Women founder
I wrote the poem, My Beloved Cariad, for my beautiful friend, Helen ‘Foxy’ Powell, back in 2014, not long after her diagnosis with ovarian cancer. Helen originated from Wales. Many of her nearest and dearest still reside there. Cariad is a Welsh word she taught me; which means darling or sweetheart.
Tully Toledo, one of so many who loved Helen dearly
My Beloved Cariad
I have a friend.
You may know her.
And she has such a big heart.
Such an infectious love of life.
Such wisdom for one so young,
And yet such a childlike joyfulness for a woman her age.
She knows of her height
But little does she know of how tall she stands in all other things
Tell her she's brave and she politely scoffs at you.
Tell her that there are few as kind as her and she scoffs again.
Tell her that she inspires you, calms you, guides you
And she'll laugh so sweetly, genuinely mystified.
I have a friend
Who knows not of the extraordinary
depth and breadth of her beauty
But I know
And so do you
We have a friend
Such a dear friend
She touches our lives
Nourishes our spirit
Leaves us in awe
And though she'll never believe it's true
I'm going to tell her anyway
My beloved Cariad