Courage in the face of cancer: Michelle’s quest to drive change for women

02 May 2023

Michelle Henderson is a woman who possesses a fierce spirit and inextinguishable courage. Her personal experience with multiple loved ones with gynaecological cancers has fuelled a passionate commitment to making positive changes for women.

Rob and Michelle Henderson

As a health journalist and strategic communications specialist for medical research institutes, Michelle has spent two decades learning about various health issues. She has a deep understanding of ovarian cancer's diagnostic challenges and the increasing incidence of endometrial cancer. She also knows that it's tough to treat in its later stages due to the lack of targeted treatments. This knowledge drives Michelle's passion for raising funds and awareness for gynaecological cancer research. She's thrilled to be partnering with WomenCan to fundraise for ANZGOG and is excited to trek the Larapinta Trail with other enthusiastic advocates.

For Merilyn, and women everywhere

Merilyn was Michelle's adored aunt, the only sister of Michelle's mother. In July 2022, after two-and-a-half years of living with Stage 4 gyneacological cancer, Merilyn passed away at the age of 69. 

Merilyn's demise occurred just three months before her only child, Michelle's dear cousin, was to marry. After waiting 20 years for her miracle child, Merilyn's own mother passed away without ever meeting her grandchild, a fate Merilyn sadly now shares.

Merilyn doted on Michelle and her siblings as they grew up. She was known for her thoughtful gifts, her delicious spaghetti bolognaise and creamy pumpkin soup, and her love for her golden retriever, Gemma. Michelle and her siblings cherished their time with Merilyn, whether they were walking Gemma, celebrating special occasions like Christmas, or welcoming their long-awaited cousin into the world.

Michelle is participating in the trek for Merilyn, for women all over the world, and even for herself—to test her own limits. She knows it's going to be a remarkable journey. Click here to support Michelle’s fundraising efforts!

About WomenCan's Larapinta Trek

Gynaecological cancer, a disease that affects women indiscriminately, is currently challenging to diagnose due to limited screening tests and a range of symptoms that often go unnoticed until it's too late. Research stands as the optimal way to overcome these hurdles.

WomenCan, is dedicated to financing innovative scientific research aimed at improving the lives of women with gynaecological cancer. Every dollar raised during WomenCan’s Larapinta adventure directly funds this essential research, enhancing diagnostic, treatment, and survival outcomes. Find out more about WomenCan's Larapinta trek.

This unique adventure involves a trek through the Australian outback on the world-renowned Larapinta Trail. During this journey, participants will experience the sacred sites of the Arrernte people and the outback's ochre landscapes. Nights will be spent camping under the stars to the lullaby of native wildlife. Most importantly, participants will be contributing to gyneacological cancer research, helping shape a healthier future for all women.

Departing in August, join Michelle and other WomenCan supporters on this inspiring trek along the Larapinta Trail. Don't miss out on this meaningful once-in-a-lifetime journey.

Hurry only two spots left! Registrations close on 31 May 2023