Relay for Life is an event that involves the whole family. People can sign up to join a team or start their own team to walk or run continuously around a local athletics track to signify the ongoing fight against cancer. It is an event that creates hope and empathy for those who are undergoing cancer treatment or who have overcome cancer. It is an event which celebrates loved ones lost to cancer, cancer survivors as well as their carers as the unsung heroes.
What is Relay for Life?
People of all backgrounds, races and regions join together to support each other against the global fight to find a cure for cancer. People raise much-needed funds to improve cancer prevention treatments and research. To give back control to the people cancer has taken that away from and celebrate the memory of people communities have lost to this terrible disease.
Relay for Life is an accessible event for all the family as the event allows participants to raise money and decide how they wish to participate. Whether there is a group of you that want to take it in turns to tag team around the walking track or if you want to run continuously, it is entirely up to you.
Relay for Life happen all across Australia all the way through the year, therefore, the barrier to participation is low. Another great thing about these type of events is that you can fundraise throughout the year with some great fundraising examples provided by the event organisers. This makes fundraising for such a worthy cause enjoyable.
If your friends and family aren’t able to support the cause by participating, there are a number of other ways people can get involved, from donations, all the way through to sponsoring an event. Local businesses have become the backbone of some community relays for life. Many of which have had colleagues or customers struck down by this horrible disease.
Why Relay for Life?
Relay for Life symbolises the ongoing struggle people with cancer experience daily. It is a life changing diagnosis for the person with the disease but also for their loved ones. An event like Relay for Life brings people together to show their collective support and provide strength for one another. Being diagnosed with cancer can be a dark and scary time for people, which is why the event is over night. The night vigil is designed to bring light to the darkest of experiences and remember those that lost their own fight against cancer.
Survivors of cancer and their carers are celebrated with a lap of honour at each relay event, with participants cheering them on from the sidelines. Clapping and cheering to show support for their own personal journeys and acts of courage. The feeling of hope and love beams from these events, particularly during these laps of honour.
Furthermore, as night falls, a candlelight vigil becomes the heart of the event. Candle bags inscribed with messages of love and hope are everywhere the eye can see. Bringing people together to remember the loved ones they have lost and to show the collective support and hope for those still fighting. Walking together in the dark as a stand against cancer and the desire to beat cancer once and for all but finding a cure.
If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with cancer and require support, there are a number of support services available. Cancer Council has a list of types of services available. You can also Contact your local GP, who will be able to find and put you in touch with services near you that can help support you and your loved ones during this difficult time.