Disabled athlete joins team for cancer relay
BY LAURETTA GODBEE
NOTED disabled athlete Doug Lambert, Australian Fespic swim- ming representative, State amputee lawn bowls champion, is about to tackle the relay. The Relay for Life that is, this year's Clarence-Grafton 24-hour event, on Jabour Park on the weekend of October 15-16. Doug, now 56, was only 24 years old when he 'bumped' his leg and the injury caused such pain he was sent for X-rays. It just went on from there, says Doug, who ultimately was diag- nosed with osteosarcoma. Soon after doctors amputated his leg in an 'all or nothing' bid to save his life. "I didn't know it then, but os- teosarcoma was a form of cancer with a very low survival rate," says Doug. He beat the disease but for a keen sportsman, into soccer, cross-country motorbike riding and surf life saving, the ensuing changes in lifestyle 'took the wind out of my sails'. Doug, married with three sons and a daughter, has lived in the Grafton area for 14 years. He was a member of the Australian team which contested swimming events at the Fespic Games in China some years ago and earlier this month he and a partner won the NSW amputee lawn bowls cham- pionship pairs played at Everglades Country Club on the Central Coast. "It had always been in my mind that I should take part in the Can- cer Council's Relay for Life," Doug said. He made inquiries about nomi- nating individually and has now joined with the Waterview Heights B and S team to take part. Team captains Phyllis and Ian Knox expect to have around 15 members on the paddock for the relay, which runs from 10am Satur- day, to 10am Sunday October 15-16. Phyllis took part in the first Grafton Relay for Life in 2003 as a member of her daughter's Braun- stone team 'but they were looking for more teams this year so I de-
cided to get a group of neighbours and friends together', she said. "B and S? Well, it might be bowls and social ? that's the infor- mal Waterview Heights group to which most members belong ? or it might be bachelors and spinsters although most of us are a good deal older than that. We're just out there for a bit of fun and to help raise money and awareness in the community's battle against cancer," Phyllis said. A program of music and fun has been organised to entertain relay participants and their supporters who are invited to camp out over- night on Jabour Park in support of those walking the circuit. The relay will start with a tradi- tional lap of honour for cancer survivors and their carers.