‘We’re going to win this race, none of us are giving up’
Three sisters, the grandchildren, her mother, six children, friends and many more - all wearing a shirt emblazoned with "In this family no one fights alone".
They were at Bluewater Quay in Mackay on Sunday for the fourth annual Mother's Day Classic fun run as a gift to their hero Nicola Sammut.
She is a 43-year-old Mackay mother-of-six fighting Stage 3 HER2-positive breast cancer by having lymph nodes and both of her breasts removed as well as chemotherapy and radiation.
Ms Sammut was in tears when she saw her 26-strong support team ready to take on the 5km.
"It's overwhelming," she said.
"Love - it's what keeps me going."
Sister Beth Sammut said Nicola had always been the rock of the family and it was time to rally around her while she fought off cancer.
"We're going to win this race," Beth said.
"None of us are going to give up."
Mother's Day Classic organiser Dawn Mansfield said the national event had raised $35m for vital breast cancer research with the Mackay turnout of about 200 people going to show how the disease impacted the community.
Fellow organiser Chrissy Evangelou said about one in seven Australian women would be diagnosed with breast cancer over their lifetime.
"That is something that affects us all," Ms Evangelou said.
"By supporting breast cancer research, you are helping to make Mother's Day mean even more and that may just be the gift that our mums want most of all.
"In 1994, the five-year survival rate for someone with breast cancer was 76 per cent, now it's 91 per cent.
"Research has directly led to improvements in prevention, early diagnosis and treatments.
"This progress is something to be proud of, but with eight women losing their lives to breast cancer every day in Australia, the job's not done."
The Mackay event raised $10,000 which will go directly to National Breast Cancer Foundation.