My mother is a 22 year breast cancer survivor and I’ve always felt incredibly lucky to still have her with me today.
However, in September 2004, I lost a family friend to an aggressive tumour. Shockingly, she was only 15. I was galvanised to volunteer at The Cancer Council which is when I discovered Relay For Life. It was an ideal event for me at the time – I could raise funds and help find a cure whilst also being given a most wonderful ceremony to honour the memory of a lovely young lady taken too soon. I joined the volunteer organising committee after that first Relay and six years later I’m still as passionately involved.
In 2006, I became the Hunter representative on a state-wide taskforce for Relay For Life and also attended a National Summit in America, an experience that only strengthened my desire to beat this disease. Soon after my return, my husband’s aunt lost her battle with breast cancer and secondary bone cancer. Both of these terrible losses are what keeps me motivated – in the hope of a cure, in the hope that no-one else has to suffer the pain of loss, in the hope that one day cancer will be eliminated entirely.
I’ve been extremely fortunate not to have lost loved ones to cancer but by volunteering I can help others who have. Distressingly, cancer is becoming such a common word in today’s society. By entering a team in the Relay For Life, I help to raise awareness of the disease, how to prevent it and also help raise money for groundbreaking research. I like to think that it might be a dollar Verity and I have raised together that tips the balance in finding a cure for this terrible disease that has taken so much from so many people.
This will be my fourth year as a Relay For Life Team Captain. I’m looking forward to entering Relay 2010 again as the Kombi of Hope team.
The photos below show Kombi of Hope at Relay For Life last year (she got there on a trailer). Reverend Ian Altman blessed her for us and his beautiful wife Carolyn spoke at the Opening Ceremony.