Liz steps up for cancer walk
LIZ Sherrey had a very personal reason to join her fellow Lifestyle Communities Mount Duneed homeowners for her first Mother’s Day Classic Walk.
The part-time nurse is a breast cancer survivor which made her particularly proud when 487 residents from Lifestyle Communities around Victoria banded together to raise a huge $56,421.60 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
The residents raised half that amount and the rest was matched by the Lifestyle Communities Foundation.
Liz, who bought a Lifestyle home last October, said the four-kilometre walk around The Tan in Melbourne – held on May 8 and 9 – was nothing short of fabulous.
“I got two of my friends who don’t live here to come along and one of them is a survivor as well,” she said. “Lifestyle organised it and put on a bus for everybody which was just fantastic.
“I was absolutely blown away by the amount of people from Lifestyle, there were about 500 from around Victoria. I was really proud.”
Liz, now 65, was living in Bermuda about seven years ago when she got diagnosed with breast cancer.
It was extremely stressful but fortunately she could return to Australia for treatment where she had the support of her son and his partner.
Liz underwent radiotherapy treatment and is now grateful to be able to call herself a survivor.
She said making the move into Lifestyle Communities Mount Duneed had been a blessing.
“I was living in Waurn Ponds and I drove past on my way to work at the Epworth and I saw it and I thought it looked good because it wasn’t a retirement village,” she recalls.
“I still had a very big mortgage on my house and I thought I could move into Lifestyle, be able to retire and not have a mortgage.
“So many things have opened up to me … I always had friends when I was in the other place but I realised I was a lot lonelier than I am now because I’ve made a lot of great friends, they are close by and we pop in on each other.
“We have canasta competitions, water aerobics, strengthening classes in the gym, darts groups, table tennis teams, a pool competition, barbecues on Wednesday nights during summer, happy hour on Fridays, and we’ve started bingo on Tuesday nights.
“There is always something to be involved in.”
Lifestyle Communities managing director James Kelly said the team put a lot of effort into the Mother’s Day walk because it was a charity both the company and its homeowners wanted to get behind.
“We gave everyone a fantastic pink hat and this great pink T-shirt with “putting your breast foot forward” on the back of it which was really fun,” he said.
“We are by far the largest team to enter so it was almost a military operation to bring the 14 buses in and unload them quickly right on the start line so that no-one was having to walk a long way to get to the start.”
James said the day was just one example of Lifestyle Communities’ dedication to offering a holistic wellness program to all its homeowners that improves their overall fitness, social and emotional wellbeing.
“Fifty per cent of homeowners are single women and there is this whole feeling to get re-engaged in a social environment, to get active again, to have purpose but to also be surrounded by like-minded people who all pitch in and get along,” he said.
“Loneliness is one of the worst curses you could wish on anyone and I think for single women who are isolated in the suburbs, streets change as lots of first-home buyers move in … this is an opportunity to be part of something bigger and get re-engaged in a community.
“We see this blossoming of people who come in quiet and reserved and within six months they start coming out of themselves, and giving more of themselves, and it’s lovely to see. We say ‘downsize to a bigger life’ and it kind of is right because there is this ‘seize the moment’ thing happening and we are seeing younger people moving in which is great.”
As for Liz, she is already planning next year’s Mother’s Day Classic Walk.
“My friends have already said they will do it again with me next year and we are going to put more effort into the fundraising,” she said.