It was lights, camera, action for Bundaberg’s first Virtual Relay For Life which was livestreamed from Shalom College on Saturday afternoon.
Relay For Life patron Judy Peters, co-chairs Matt Gees and Trish Mears, and Face of Relay for Life Molly Dawson were excited to livestream Queensland’s second Virtual Relay For Life while celebrating those who have fought the battle against cancer and survived, and remembering those who sadly lost that battle.
Molly, 19, said she was diagnosed with cancer aged 17 and she was proud to be the Face of Relay for Life 2020.
“It is really cool to be part of something that lifts up an entire community,” Molly said.
“Not just the people watching but cancer survivors and carers, while remembering the people we have lost to this horrible disease, which unfortunately happens.”
Molly said it was the fourth time she had participated in Relay for Life, after doing it at high school, before she was diagnosed with cancer.
“I did it with my friends and I remember we cried, and we laughed, staying up all night,” she said.
“I love Relay For Life; it’s not just a cancer event, it’s hard to describe the feeling you get from participating.
“I had never been affected by cancer, no friends or family had cancer, until I was diagnosed with cancer, and during the years of participating even I cried during relay – it brings the community together in a different way.”
Patron Judy Peters said she was honoured to part of Relay For Life. She first joined 17 years ago after her father, Ray Devery, passed away from lung cancer.
“When dad died of lung cancer, my daughter Stephanie and I said this is what we were going to do to respect dad, the life we had had with granddad,” Judy said.
“In joining a team to participate it became clear to me that you don’t do the cancer journey alone.
“Mum, my brother and all of us, we were kind of feeling so alone, and by doing Relay together we realised there was support and learnt a different respect for people who had done this journey of cancer. It was a healing.”
Cancer Council’s senior coordinator community engagement Wide Bay Rebecca Field said there was almost 300 registered participants, and for an online event it was fabulous response.
Rebecca said the livestreamed event included the lighting of the candles ceremony, along with entertaining by local musicians, and videos of support from locals.
“We have raised just over $35,000, which is about 70 per cent of the $50,000 we are hoping to raise this year,” Rebecca said.
“People can still donate online, and people who missed the streamed event can check it out online at any time.”
Rebecca said it was great to see so many people in the community continuing to relay and show support for those affected by cancer.
“It’s nice to see people relay, their way,” she said.
“Cancer never rests, and nor do we.
“The amount of support shown in a time like this, is truly just incredible.
“Shalom was a major supporter and provided us with the location to host and film the Virtual Relay For Life, so a big thank you to them as well.”
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Earlier report: Relay For Life 2020 launches in Bundaberg