Ballarat fighting cancer one step at a time

SOVEREIGN Hill chief executive officer Jeremy Johnson swapped a suit for shorts and running shoes to join more than 100 people for the Make Cancer History walk on Sunday.

Braving the chilly weather and steep inclines around the tourism museum, participants helped raise more than $2000 for the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute.

Mr Johnson said the walk was a great way to unite the community and bring together people who had been affected in some way by cancer, while also raising much needed funds for an organisation which played a pivotal role in cancer research. 

"This is a culmination of two community organisations. It makes a clear statement we have come together to help people with cancer," he said.

"Most of us are touched by cancer some time in our lives ... There are a lot of people walking in memory of a person who had cancer.

"We're very proud of the community."

Ballarat's Pearse family was just one of many families who took part in the two-kilometre and four-kilometre event that kicked off at Sovereign Hill's Main Street at 9am. 

Janine Pearse said it was great to see so many people supporting the local organisation that brought hope to many people touched by cancer.

"Our family has been touched by cancer so that's why we're here," she said.

"It's a great cause."

All money raised from the walkathon, now in its fourth year, will be donated to the Fiona Elsey Cancer Research Institute to help fund research projects.

Fiona Elsey board member chairman Emeritus Professor Wayne Robinson said every dollar helped ensure researchers are a step closer to fighting cancer through research.

"Cancer is a disease that can be beaten ... it's only through research we will discover how to treat it," he said.

"The generosity by our community we're constantly both amazed and gratified by."