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Survivors lead cancer Relay

PUBLISHED: 15:13 04 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:05 03 July 2010

'One of the lucky ones': Julie Hanks had successful treatment for cancer and is now doing the Relay for Life at Caister.

'One of the lucky ones': Julie Hanks had successful treatment for cancer and is now doing the Relay for Life at Caister.

IT is hoped hundreds of people will raise thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK at a special event next month.

The Great Yarmouth Relay for Life is at Caister High School on July 18 and 19 - part of the biggest international fundraising event.

IT is hoped hundreds of people will raise thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK at a special event next month.

The Great Yarmouth Relay for Life is at Caister High School on July 18 and 19 - part of the biggest international fundraising event.

Last year the Yarmouth area hosted its first Relay for Life, raising an amazing £19,750. Across the world, £2.6m was raised.

for Cancer Research UK, and preparations are now well underway for the 2009 Relay which takes place on July 18th & 19th.

Relay for Life began in America in 1985 when Dr Gordon Klatt walked around a track for 24 hours to raise funds for the American Cancer Society in memory of his cancer patients. After this, the concept of Relay for Life was started as a celebration of survivorship of cancer while helping to raise money for lifesaving research into a cure for cancer, and 91 relays were held in the UK alone last year.

On July 18, as teams of people work to continue a constant relay of walking around the venue from 2pm on the Saturday until 10am the next morning, there will be a host of other activities taking place to entertain family, friends and members of the public present to support the relay, and hopefully raise even more money for Cancer Research UK.

As with all fundraising events, the Relay for Life needs a group of committed and hardworking people to set it up and keep it going, and newcomer to the Relay for Life committee, Julie Hanks, knows all too well just how important the fundraising event is.

She said: “Last year I was involved in the Yarmouth Relay for Life purely in the role of a survivor. I am one of the lucky people who have come through treatment for cancer and was able to be a VIP at the event, walking the opening lap with other cancer survivors.

“The atmosphere last year was fantastic; everyone was there working together for the same cause, and it was really good to be able to be part of something so worthwhile.

“As well as having had to cope with cancer myself, I lost my sister to cancer in 2006, so helping to find a cure for the foreseeable future is really important to me. After last year's relay, I offered any help I could for the Relay for Life in 2009 and I'm now on the committee, contacting and meeting other survivors who will be able to take part in this year's opening lap.”

Nineteen survivors are lined up to walk the opening lap, and it is hoped more people can become involved every year.

Chairman of the committee, Stephen Bower, said he was amazed at the extra involvement last year's Relay had already generated. He added: “The idea is that each Relay for Life should inspire more interest each year it continues, but I have been amazed at the reaction we have had since our first relay last year. Team entries are up, as are the number of survivors involved, so it's all looking good.

“I really wanted to be involved with starting off the first Relay for Life in this area, so I am delighted to see that there's enough interest to see it continue to build and be an important annual event for the area.”


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