Alan Thompson, Rachel Cairns and Donna Phillips practise their warm-up stretches in preparation for the 18-hour Relay for Life walk at the Emerald Showgrounds.
Alan Thompson, Rachel Cairns and Donna Phillips practise their warm-up stretches in preparation for the 18-hour Relay for Life walk at the Emerald Showgrounds.

Relay teams limber up

PUTTING one foot in front of the other, the Emerald Hospital team is taking part in Relay for Life tomorrow.

Relay for Life starts at 3pm for an 18-hour walk to finish at 9am on Sunday. The walk is a time to celebrate those who have survived, remember those who died and re-pledge to help find a cure for cancer.

“There are 16 of us now, mainly nurses from our emergency ward,” participant Alan Thompson said. “I am really looking forward to it, it will be a great day and I’m expecting it to be great fun as well.”

Alan said everyone in the group was taking part because each one had been directly affected one way or the other.

“Quite a lot of people have had cancer or they know someone with it, family or friends,” he said. “It’s a really worthy cause and we wanted to be associated with as the health centre of Emerald.”

Alan said the team started from registered nurse Sue Mitchell handing out a list for others to sign up and become participants.

He has participated in Relay for Life before, taking part in New Zealand, but this was his first time in Emerald.

Alan has a close connection with cancer after he was diagnosed with the disease more than 10 years ago and underwent an operation to have it removed.

“It was terrible,” he said of being diagnosed. “I was convinced it wasn’t cancer so I was really shocked when I found out (it was).”

But since 2000 Alan has been cleared of cancer and said he wanted to take part in Relay For Life to show others with the disease that they too could survive.

“I am a survivor, I want to show that people do survive it and a lot more people do survive it these days,” he said.

“One of the reasons for that is the fundraising to raise money to find more cures.”

Relay program

10am Saturday: Teams set up )

1.45pm: Survivors’ afternoon tea

2.45pm: Opening ceremony

3pm: Relay begins

6.45pm: Candlelight ceremony

9am Sunday: Relay finishes


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