According to the Cancer Council, an estimated 128,000 people in Australia will be diagnosed with cancer in the coming year. Those people will be mums and dads, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. They will also be colleagues. Here at Riverina Energy and Bio Oils (ROBE), one of our colleagues, Office Administration Manager Kayla Cox, has been personally touched by cancer. Kayla showed incredible resolve as she participated in the Wagga Wagga Relay for Life, an event that raises money for cancer research and honours those who have been stricken by cancer.
The Relay for Life concept began in the USA in May 1985 when Dr Gordy Klatt wanted to raise awareness of cancer and boost the income of his local cancer charity. He spent a gruelling twenty-four hours circulating a track in Tacoma, Washington, and raised over US$27,000. In doing so, he showed that one person really can make a difference.
Relay for Life began in Australia in 1999 when the Victorian community of Murrumbeena raised over $75,000 for the Cancer Council. Relays are now held in every Australian state and territory, with more than 134,000 participants raising over $24 million each year.
Kayla participated in the Wagga Wagga Relay for Life on the 11th and 12th October 2014 at Parramore Park, Wagga Exhibition Centre. She found herself on track for 21 hours.
“I didn’t go it alone,” Kayla said. “I’d like to thank everyone, including my ROBE colleagues, who gave up their time to share in the experience with me. People walked with me and relieved me when I needed a rest. Many even came with their families and I was truly chuffed to see everyone rally together for such a worthy cause.”
Every dollar raised at Relay for Life events goes towards funding Cancer Council’s vital research, prevention and support programs.
“As a whole, the Cancer Council raised $210,000 on that weekend,” Kayla said. “Thanks to everyone who donated. I am proud to say that together our efforts count towards this total.”
“I completed 241 laps (@ 446m) or 107kms in my 21hrs on track. I didn’t just run my marathon I went back to back and then some! I didn’t better my time but it wasn’t about being quicker than Canberra – it was about proving I could do it post-surgery.”
“You might expect me to be sore. You would be right! But this pain is nothing compared to what having cancer does to you (and your nearest and dearest). It tries you in every way imaginable. This pain is inspiring. This pain is motivating. This pain and fatigue I can deal with!”
ROBE’s Kayla Cox with some of her team of supporters at the Wagga Wagga Relay for Life
There are many different ways to contribute to the work of the Cancer Council. For more information visit www.cancercouncil.org.au.