Beating cancer one step closer

BEST friends Bianca Angelosanto and Rebecca Sproule of Lismore met when they were being treated for leukemia at Brisbane Hospital nine years ago.

Both girls beat the disease after each enduring two years of treatment.

On Saturday they joined other local cancer survivors and carers for the first lap of Lismore's Relay for Life. The event involved teams taking turns to walk laps of Southern Cross University's sports oval throughout the night.

Cancer survivor and Lismore Relay for Life committee member Don Whitelaw likened the relay to surviving cancer.

“If it's cold and windy during the relay you just need to press on, or if you get tired, you just need to press on,” he said.

Ms Angelosanto said walking laps of an oval through the night was pretty easy compared to fighting leukaemia for two years.

Mr Whitelaw applauded all teams for their fundraising efforts, which was close to $18,000, before the relay got underway.

He made special note of the Lismore Ladies Golf Club, who raised funds by giving fines to members for swearing and bad putting scores.

“This is more than simply a fundraising event, it allows us to honour survivors, remember those who lost their fight, and raise awareness about the disease,” he said.

Along the track was a sign that read 'in 1950 only 25 per cent of cancer patients survived more than five years after being diagnosed', another sign read 'now more than 60 per cent of cancer patients survive more than five years'.

Mr Whitelaw said he hoped the million of dollars raised by Cancer Council Australia each year for research would help bring that figure to 100 per cent.

SCU vice-chancellor Paul Clark shared his experiences of dealing with prostate cancer and read out the Relay for Life oath.

It recognised each step throughout the relay as a symbol of being one step closer to creating a cancer-free world for future generations.



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