CQU staff step up and raise $4000 for Relay For Life

20 August 2021

500 energetic locals converged at CQUniversity's Rockhampton North campus on Saturday' 7 August in support of Relay For Life.

After being on hiatus in 2020 due to the pandemic' organisers were astounded by the support from Relayers' raising over $80 000. $4000 of which was raised by the CQUniversity team' the Walkie Talkies.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp helped open the ceremony' expressing how proud the University was to be a major sponsor.

"CQUniversity has always been proud to support Relay over the years and we are so thankful the event can proceed in 2021 in this new COVID-safe format'" Professor Klomp said.

With a fresh new structure' the 12-hour event attracted cancer survivors and Walkie Talkie members' Samantha Hall and Karen Chapman.

As a Teal Warrior (ovarian cancer survivor)' Samantha got involved with Relay For Life to support other warriors and their families' and to raise awareness for ovarian cancer.

"Ovarian cancer research is severely underfunded'" she said.

"Sadly' 50% of women don't make it past five years after their diagnosis."

Samantha paid tribute to loved ones who have lost their battle with cancer by embroidering their names in coloured hearts on her shirt. The colours represented the respective cancers (pictured).

"I thought about these people and how they were special to the people who nominated them'" she said.

"I also made sure I walked a lap for each of them. #HeartOnMySleeve is what I named my shirt.

"I am hoping we can have a team next year. I would love to do it again."

After being diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2020' Karen was on a journey of healing. For her' participating in the Survivors Walk felt like a step in that journey.

"Everyone knows someone affected by cancer and this is one way to support those that are suffering now and those diagnosed in the future'" she said.

"Raising funds for the Cancer Council and acknowledging the cancer survivors' carers and honouring those who have lost their lives is what motivates me to get involved.

"It is such a fun way to show support. So cheerful and colourful' celebrating life as it should be."

The highlight of the event for many Relayers was the Candle Ceremony' where they honoured and celebrated loved ones.

One in every two Queensland men and women will be diagnosed with cancer by age 85' along with around 1000 children Australia wide.

Funded in part by events such as Relay For Life' ground-breaking research' constantly evolving treatment options' and new support systems are making tangible inroads to extending survival rates.

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