Mum’s death inspires walk

Nicole SalmeriSouth Western Times
Belinda Teh arrived in Bunbury on Monday as part of her 4500km walk from Melbourne to Perth to raise awareness of the voluntary assisted dying legislation.
Camera IconBelinda Teh arrived in Bunbury on Monday as part of her 4500km walk from Melbourne to Perth to raise awareness of the voluntary assisted dying legislation. Credit: Nicole Salmeri

The memory is still etched in the mind of Perth woman Belinda Teh of her mother’s final hours of life.

When Ms Teh’s mother had breast cancer, she asked and was refused the option to end her suffering after the chemotherapy did not work.

On Monday, Ms Teh walked through Bunbury on day 62 of her 4500km trek from Melbourne to Perth to take a stance on voluntary assisted dying.

“Mum had primary cancer and it spread through her bone marrow and ended up in her spine, so she had a secondary tumour growing between two vertebrae and it fractured the vertebrae,” Ms Teh said.

“She couldn’t walk at the end of her life, she didn’t get out of bed towards the end and walking is such a fundamental human thing, it’s one of the things that make us human and it’s something everyone takes for granted until you lose the ability to do it.

“Watching mum lose that really simple, basic fundamental human ability to walk, was one of the most devastating things.”

Ms Teh said she wanted no one else to endure the struggles her mother faced.

“I want Western Australia to introduce a voluntary assisted dying law so that no other Western Australian with a terminal illness has to die the way my mum did.”

Ms Teh will be in Perth on Tuesday and wants people to walk the last kilometre to Parliament House.

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