WHEN Emerald's Natasha Jurd takes to the Relay for Life track, she walks for those who can't.
For her father, her nanna, her uncles and two other family members all claimed by cancer in the past three years.
Taking part in her first event in 2005, Natasha has participated in relay seven times on various teams.
"Initially I did it as a show of support to other people who had cancer in their lives as I hadn't actually been touched by this awful disease,” she said.
"But in the last three years my family have lost so many to various types of cancer, including my Dad who passed away at just 52 years of age in October 2014 after a two year battle with leukaemia.
"It was one of the hardest things to go through, seeing such a vibrant, larger than life man be defeated by such an awful disease.
"It broke our hearts.”
A cause now closer to home, Natasha said her favourite part of the relay was seeing the community come together.
"It brings out the best in people when they can unite to fight against something that affects so many,” she said. "It's truly heart- warming to see the show of support on the weekend and in the fundraising leading up to it.”
With just over a month to go until the Central Highlands Relay for Life, Natasha reminded people there was still time to register a team.
"I never thought we'd have to face cancer,” she said. "We'd never had it in our family before - but we did and it's an exhausting, soul shattering battle.
"Take the time to offer your support to this cause. It's a fantastic event, full of awesome people and something so simple can raise so much money to help fight this awful disease.”
The committee will host another launch day tomorrow from 10am at the Central Highlands Marketplace.
There will be discounted registrations, merchandise for sale and plenty of information on hand.
The Central Highlands Relay for Life will be held at the Emerald Showgrounds on August 19-20.
Visit www.relayforlife .org.au for more.
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