Relay For Life – Greater Dandenong

Recently I had the pleasure of participating in the Relay For Life, at the Sandown Dog Racing Track which was indoors. Rather than cancel the event due to the heavy rain, it was decided to set it up under cover which worked really well. The event took place from 3pm Saturday 26 May until 11am Sunday 27 May.

Today was perhaps timely to write this blog, as one of our most famous daytime TV personalities, Kerry Anne Kennerley was diagnosed with breast cancer, which every day 76 Victorians hear the words ‘you have cancer’. Kerry Anne is brave and most courageous in her handling of it, immediately seeking medical treatment and all the necessary scans and diagnoses possible. It is a very early stage and she will have an operation within days and then radiation treatment.  Apparently the prognosis for breast cancer has radically improved with modern day treatment and does not bring up as much fear these days, as the majority of women who are treated early after discovering it recover fully.

This news of Kerry Anne’s story sent a strong message to other women to engage in regular mammograms and check-ups. It is a reminder to all about regular screening plus the need for immediate treatment. She went public with her story to urge all women to undergo regular mammograms. When Kylie Minogue was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2005 at age 36, it triggered a surge in breast imaging of low risk women.

And back to the relay. Believing in helping build the morale of the tired walkers, many of whom had been walking since 3pm in the previous afternoon, I turned up at 8.30am and met Marita Lokata, a committee organiser and she helped place stickers on people’s cheeks and clothing. We simply acted the goat, or in otherworlds, silly, skipping around, rushing up to people with lots of spontaneous laughter. It really brought smiles to their faces and I hope that it helped them get through the last couple of hours.

People were camped out overnight and it must have taken some organising, their gear for cooking meals, all sorts of camping stuff in order to give them a short rest, as it was a relay. From what I could see though not many people slept. How wondrous indeed.

Overall the funds raised for this Dandenong group was close to $200,000. That is awesome and please remember that this is an international organisation. Many of you reading this will have been involved or heard about it and I think that most of us have been touched by a close relative or friend who has experienced cancer.

If you want to get involved, Google it and no doubt Relay For Life, which is through the Cancer Council in your country will pop up. You can either join a team or create one of your own. The people I spoke with have done the walk for several years and by the look on their faces, find the experience a fantastic opportunity to give something back and go beyond their own immediate, personal vision, embracing something that connects us all together as a human race.

Once again I left in time to go to the Ferntree Gully Laughter Club and we were uplifted by my sharing of the event once again.

Please do contact me if you wish to share about the Relay For Life, I would love to hear of your interest in this event and if you have difficulty in locating the event locally, I could contact ones I know for you.

Love and Laughter, Laughter Friends.

Lynette Mitchell xxx ooo