Rainbow Dragons Abreast dragonboat team members formed a guard of honour for cancer survivors.
Rainbow Dragons Abreast dragonboat team members formed a guard of honour for cancer survivors. Northern Star

Relay takes the battle in its stride

PEOPLE walked.

Lap, upon lap, upon lap of Kingsford Smith Park in Ballina.

Some laughed and talked as they walked, mates urging them on.

Others walked hand-in-hand or arm-in-arm with their partners.

Some just walked alone, quietly.

But they walked.

They started at 4pm on Saturday afternoon, and the walking didn't stop until 10am on Sunday.

The walk was part of a battle - a battle against cancer.

The Ballina Relay for Life attracted 65 teams of between 10 and 15 people who took it in turns to walk laps around the home of the Ballina Seagulls Rugby League Club.

Pat Hayes was one of the cancer survivors who walked the opening lap to mark the start of the 18-hour relay, which was a fundraiser for The Cancer Council.

The 16-year-old, who plays rugby league with the Seagulls, was one of the youngest survivors.

He was diagnosed with melanoma when he was just 14 years old. It was a shock.

His message to young people was to follow the 'slip, slop, slap, wrap' sun safety message.

Pat was joined by his dad, Warren, who walked alongside him.

The young man said the support he received from his family and friends helped him in his personal battle with cancer.

The community support shown by the people of Ballina for the Relay for Life will help others in their fight and while the walking has stopped for now, the battle continues.



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