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Newcastle Relay For Life back on track again in 2023


For the first time since 2018, Newcastle Relay For Life will “officially” return to the local fundraising calendar next month.

Novocastrians can celebrate survivorship, remember loved ones lost and fight back against cancer at the University of Newcastle No. 2 Oval on Saturday 11 March.

With one-in-two Australians diagnosed with the insidious disease in their lifetime, Newcastle Relay For Life committee chair Brendan Lovett hopes the local community can embrace the importance of the occasion again.

“My grandfather had cancer and my father had cancer, so I have supported the Cancer Council over the years,” he said.

“Then in January 2011, returning from my honeymoon with my first wife, we found out she had melanoma.

“A few months later, we discovered she was pregnant with our only child together.

“She gave birth in December 2011 – nearly three months early.

“We continued her fight with cancer until May 2014 when she passed away.

“Since then, our son and I have come to relay in her memory.”

Teams of friends, families and colleagues raise money in the lead-up to the event, where members take turns walking around a track to signify that cancer never rests, so neither do they.

“Organised by passionate, local volunteers, Relay For Life is a fun and moving occurence,” Mr Lovett said.

“It’s a chance for people to recognise cancer survivors, those going through a cancer experience and their carers, to honour those we’ve lost and to raise money to help save more lives.”

Relay For Life events take place across Australia, with more than 134,000 participants raising in excess of $14 million each year.

Every dollar raised goes towards funding Cancer Council’s vital research, prevention and support programs, many of which help locals in the community daily.

Newcastle Relay For Life committee co-chair Emily Taylor walks in memory of her late sister Christina.

“I’m passionate about Relay for Life as I’ve seen first-hand the great work Cancer Council provides to those on their cancer journey,” she said.

“I’m a proud supporter in memory of my sister.”

Underpinned by research, 61,000 Australian lives have been saved by improvements in cancer prevention, screening and treatment over the past 20 years.

But, with an estimated 134,000 new cases of cancer expected to be diagnosed in Australia this year, organisers need every Australian to rally behind Relay For Life to help continue this vital work.

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