AFTER losing both parents to cancer, three Gold Coast siblings have taken it upon themselves to fight back against the disease by taking part in the region’s upcoming Relay For Life.
Laura Brady, Sinclair and Sarah Britton, have joined Cancer Council Queensland’s Gold Coast Relay For Life in March and will walk in honour of their parents.
“After mum passed away from cancer in 2005 and dad passed away from cancer in 2011, we decided as a family we needed to get together and do something about it – and Relay For Life is a great event,” Laura said.
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Relay For Life is an 18-hour event involving teams of up to 15 people keeping a baton moving in a relay-style walk or run overnight, all in an effort to raise funds for the one in two Queenslanders affected by cancer in their lifetime.
The 2014 Cancer Council Queensland Gold Coast Relay For Life will be held March 22 – 23 at Doug Jennings Park, Gold Coast Spit.
All three siblings have taken part in Relay For Life over the past two years, but for 2014 they joined the organising committee to help raise awareness for the event.
“Relay is such an amazing event. We’ve grown up on the Gold Coast so being part of a community event here is a real highlight for us all,” Laura said.
At Relay For Life, three powerful ceremonies are held – the opening ceremony to celebrate cancer survivors and carers, the candlelight ceremony to remember loved ones lost to cancer, and a closing ceremony to celebrate the achievements of Relay.
For Laura, Sinclair and Sarah, the evening candlelight ceremony will be a time to reflect and remember their parents’ battles.
At dusk, participants light candles and line the track with bags inscribed with messages of love, remembrance and hope to inspire participants to continue walking throughout the night and keep fighting.
“It’s about recognising those that we have lost and the struggle that they have to put up with throughout their treatment,” Laura said.
“It’s such a sad and emotional time for all of us, but this year we are trying to use the ceremony as a time to build up hope for everyone at Relay and make it about a celebration of their lives.”
Sarah said that for all three of them, Relay is also about pitching in and doing something to give back to others who have been affected by the disease.
“Just to know that we might be able to make a difference in people’s lives by taking part and raising awareness for cancer keeps us motivated,” said Sarah.
Cancer Council Queensland Relay For Life Coordinator Di Dixon encouraged the Gold Coast community to get behind Laura, Sinclair and Sarah and support Relay.
“Relay For Life is a unique event where the community comes together in an amazing show of strength, camaraderie and goodwill to create hope for a cancer free future,” Ms Dixon said.
“We encourage people of all ages and fitness levels to join in – everyone who participates makes a vital difference in the fight against cancer.
“Our goal for 2014 is to raise $75,000 for Cancer Council Queensland.
“Simply register a team, come pitch a tent and enjoy the atmosphere, while creating hope for a cancer free future.”
Anyone wanting to join the local fight against cancer or find out more about Relay For Life can visit www.relayforlife.org.au or phone the Fundraising Hotline 1300 65 65 85.
For more information about Cancer Council Queensland, please visit www.cancerqld.org.au or call the Cancer Council Helpline on 13 11 20.