BREAST cancer survivor Christine Rowsell has long been a supporter of Relay for Life. The Old Bar resident was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006.
Christine said what was a scary and difficult time in her life was aided by the unwavering support from her family and friends.
“Without them, I could not have gotten through it. Even the kindness from nurses picking me up a coffee before chemotherapy made a difference,” Christine said.
Christine said she appreciates every moment she gets to spend with her family and friends.
“I am so thankful that I am a survivor,” she said.
“I hope and pray I have a positive impact on my family and friends by sharing my positive outlook and appreciation for life.”
Christine, her daughter Charmaine Donoghue and friend Gynette Elbourne will be joining the community at Manning Valley Relay for Life on April 1 and 2 at Club Taree to honour those who are facing a cancer diagnosis and for those who can no longer relay for themselves.
Their team is called ‘Dottie’s Team Returns’ in honour of a friend and survivor Dottie, who at 92 can no longer relay.
“Dottie instigated the team and the friendships have just grown stronger and stronger,” Christine said.
The team are fundraising with an event this weekend at the Soldiers Memorial Hall in Old Bar from 2pm.
The event, Afternoon Melodies, includes afternoon tea and entertainment with the money going towards the team’s Cancer Council donation.
Christine said tragically she has lost many friends to cancer.
“The candlelight ceremony at Relay for Life is so important to me, to remember them,” she said.
Christine’s daughter Charmaine Donoghue said: “I relay mainly for my mum – because she is a fighter, and a survivor!”
“But I also relay for all those who have been affected by cancer, and their family and friends. Relaying is a great way to raise awareness of the need for fundraising, and the impacts of cancer on so many people,” Charmaine said.
“What I love about relay, is the camaraderie that happens among the team, and in the community. Friendships develop, new friendships are made, and a united spirit is forged. I love the support that the local community provides when teams are fundraising.”
Christine said sometimes people can be wary about talking to cancer survivors incase they say the wrong thing.
“You don’t need to be scared to approach a survivor because you don’t have to say anything. You just have to be there.”
To take part in relay visit www.relayforlife.org.au