MESSAGE OF HOPE: Rachel Hockey, Lisa Whittaker, Kirsty Delisser and Wyatt Delisser.
MESSAGE OF HOPE: Rachel Hockey, Lisa Whittaker, Kirsty Delisser and Wyatt Delisser. CONTRIBUTED

Relay For Life participants walk through the night

GYMPIE Relay For Life participants spent 18 hours walking at the weekend, with remarkable results.

More than $100,000 has been tallied so far, with more funds yet to be counted which will continue the vital work of the Queensland Cancer Council.

Teams flooded on to the One Mile Ovals on Saturday afternoon, where more than 800 people wearing purple shirts walked laps to remember those lost to cancer, the survivors and others battling the illness.

Delighted committee chairwoman Kylie Walters said an extra 300 people helped raise funds in Gympie this year.

She said in the past two years, the event had grown remarkably and community involvement was "outstanding".

"It's by far the biggest and best for organisation, participation and community support," Ms Walters said.

"It's a great feeling and I feel proud of the people involved."

An emotional candlelight vigil during the night was led by Gympie cancer survivor Renee Downman to remember loved ones.

After a photo slideshow, candles were placed around the track, burning into the early hours of the morning.

"You can't help but feel the emotion," Ms Walters said.

The funds raised will ensure Queensland Cancer Council research, patient support and education programs can continue in the Gympie region.

Relay For Life co-ordinator Tom Turner said throughout the Sunshine Coast and Gympie, about 2961 people will be diagnosed with the disease this year.

Community projects were vital to saving lives, he said.

"One in two people will be diagnosed with cancer; those are the current statistics," Mr Turner said.

"It's not a taboo subject anymore, people can have a conversation about cancer and if you have cancer there are options ... not like it was 30 years ago."

Gympie Times


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