The Kirkland's with the assistance of Thomas George cut the ribbon to officially open Relay for Life 2018 in Lismore.
The Kirkland's with the assistance of Thomas George cut the ribbon to officially open Relay for Life 2018 in Lismore. Samantha Poate

Lismore rallied behind Emily's Beanie Boos

FOR families like the Kirkland's the Cancer Council's Relay for Life is both exciting and emotional.

Darren and Tania Kirkland went through any new parents worst nightmare, when their daughter Emily was diagnosed with Cancer in her mouth at only six-months-old.

"She had a year of chemotherapy, she went into remission for about eight months and then it came back,” Mrs Kirkland said.

Emily has relapsed three times in year eight years.

"It was just after relay for life two years ago that she relapsed for the third time so that's where it is a bit hard,” Mrs Kirkland said.

Mrs Kirkland said she was thankful for the amazing facilities at Lismore Base Hospital which meant she didn't have to relocate her family to get Emily the medical treatment she needs.

Emily along with five of closest friends made up the Emily's Beanie Boos in Lismore's Relay for Life 2018.

"Emily has a collection of about over 80, having been a reward for the things she has been through,” Mrs Kirkland said.

Family and friends were amazed on Saturday to see how strong young Emily has become as she officially opened the fund-raising event with a ribbon cutting ceremony assisted by Lismore MP Thomas George.

Cancer Council NSW's Community Relations Coordinator Kate McBride said they had a great turn out at Southern Cross University over the weekend.

"We've had 743 people register before Thursday and we've had an extra 100 people register today,” Ms McBride said.

This years fund-raising target is $100,000, which Ms McBride said is very achievable.

"We've already hit over $60,000 and teams (are still) fund-raising as well,” she said.

Other community members were doing a little extra for this years event as they raised thousands to shave their heads.

"One guy, Barry from Multitask, lopped off all of his hair and he had been growing it for years,” Ms McBride said.

This year Lismore also became the first Relay for Life to incorporate a swimming element.

"We've got the swim relay, it's the only relay in Australia that has a pool,” Ms McBride said.

"We've got a couple of teams who will be relaying against each other.”

Ms McBride said its events like these that really make a difference in the lives of cancer patients and their families.

"With the help of the Lismore Community we are getting closer to a cancer free future every minute, every hour and every day,” she said.



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