Last Friday I had the privilege to attend the Relay for Life ambassadors
breakfast in Geelong, which was held at the Geelong Racing Club. This breakfast
is an annual event organised by Geelong Relay for Life ambassadors Professor
Peter Loney and Roxanne Bennett. This year’s breakfast was the fourth, and its
reputation is certainly growing throughout the Geelong community as a
must-attend event. David Parkin, former AFL and VFL premiership player and
coach, and a cancer survivor, was the guest speaker at this year’s breakfast.
His address was a mix of football anecdotes, teaching experiences and life
lessons, and he held the audience in the palm of his hand.
Relay for Life is a worldwide community event, and in Victoria
it is run by Cancer Council Australia. The credo is, ‘No-one chooses to have
cancer, but I choose to relay’.
Money raised at the breakfast goes to the overall total of the
Geelong Relay for Life, which in turn goes to cancer research.
Prior to last weekend’s relay event, the total money raised in
Geelong was $2.5 million. This year 80 registered teams took place in the relay
at the Deakin University track at Waurn Ponds for the 24 hours from noon on
Saturday to noon on Sunday, and raised over $165 000 for cancer research.
The value of these events is not just in the money raised but
in the research that flows from that. It is of benefit to people to feel they
can have some control over this dreadful disease that touches so many in the
community. Whether you relay, sponsor a team, participate in the
survivors-and-carers lap or attend the breakfast, everyone can make a
difference. All of us can assist in finding a cure.