Fundraiser boosts spirit, cancer cash

Proud: Cancer suvivor Sammy Hunt with her Relay for Life sash.
Proud: Cancer suvivor Sammy Hunt with her Relay for Life sash. Grafton Daily Examiner

THE good news is that Sammy Hunt survived cancer. The bad news is that many others won't.

That's why Sammy has helped organise this weekend's Relay for Life in Yamba.

Six years ago, Sammy was diagnosed with breast cancer, following a routine mammogram in a mobile clinic in Yamba.

Sammy was told that unless she had treatment immediately she wouldn't live more than another two years.

“It was pointed out to me that if I'd contracted breast cancer just 10 years earlier, my chances of survival would have been much slimmer,” she said.

Six months ago, Sammy had her five-year check-up, an important milestone for breast cancer survivors.

Statistically, Sammy now has an excellent chance of living a long, healthy life.

“I'm a really positive person but I know that a lot of people are really worried about that five-year period,” she said.

“If it's going to come back, it's going to happen within those five years.”

Sammy said she had nothing but praise for the oncology staff in Lismore who helped her through the ordeal.

“I was amazed how fantastic they were (in Lismore). They'd ring me and ask how I was, and you could call them anytime to ask questions,” she said.

This Saturday and Sunday, Yamba will host its first Relay for Life at the sports ground on Angourie Road.

It will run from 3pm on Saturday afternoon through until 9am on Sunday morning.

So far, more than 50 teams have registered to take part, but Sammy believes that number could reach 60.

The event will open with a survivors talk, followed by a 'lap of honour' by the special guests of the event, the cancer survivors.

“The atmosphere is fantastic, it's really uplifting,” Sammy said.

“You start with the survivors' walk and you hear all their stories.

“It's pretty rewarding when you find out how much money has been raised.”

Sammy said the Relay for Life was an incredibly important fundraiser because the Cancer Council received no direct funding from the government.

Sammy said the organisation was vitally important for providing information, support and funding cancer research and education.

Sammy believes that up to 700 people, including spectators, will attend the event, which is held in a different part of the Clarence Valley every few years.

She said the committee had spent at least six months organising this event and people could still register on-line or just turn up on the day.

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