The Cancer Council’s Relay for Life is a world-wide annual event and 2014 the fifteenth year it has been held Australia-wide.
This year, the Royal Australian Navy's HMAS Cairns Crusaders made yet another appearance, thrusting themselves into their fundraising with gusto. The result was they smashed their goal of $4,000 and a total of $4,596 was contributed toward the fight for a cure.
With Chief Petty Officer Peter Swift once again leading the charge, this year’s event was a winner.
The team cheered and celebrated the opening lap, proudly waving purple and gold spangled pom-poms.
Traditionally known as the ‘Survivors and Carers Walk’, the first lap is walked by those who have beaten the deadly disease and those who have supported a loved one through the journey.
HMAS Cairns's Lieutenant Dominica Czaja and husband David were two such participants proudly bearing their coloured sashes "for a cause that is dear to our hearts."
Another walker for whom the cause was close to home was Chief Petty Officer Dave Von Senden. Having just lost his brother to brain cancer, Chief Petty Officer Von Senden pounded the pavement with true determination, walking non-stop for the full relay 18 hours.
"Cancer can affect anyone without warning and with devastating impacts. At Relay For Life we celebrate Survivors, remember those lost and fight back against cancer to find a cure and support those affected by the disease," he said.
"As the Cancer Council is a non-government funded organisation, it is events such as this that make all the difference."
Monies raised from fundraising are used for research into the causes of, and treatment for, cancer as well as clinical trials. The provision of resources to health professionals is also vital, as is the ability to provide a newly diagnosed cancer patient with resources and support. This year Cairns city raised over $450,000 to put towards reducing the impact cancer has on the community.