Cancer survivor preps for relay with record number of teams
Cancer survivor Hayley Edmanson, 22, will be in the middle of New Zealand’s biggest Relay for Life this weekend.
Ms Edmanson has beat cancer twice as a toddler, and the recent Victoria University graduate will be participating in the event with her family for the third year in a row.
This year a record 22 Cancer Society relay events around New Zealand, with people of all ages preparing for Wellington’s 17-hour marathon on Saturday.
Ms Edmanson says one of the reasons her family participate is because they have been affected by cancer, and she believes the Relay for Life is a great way to raise public awareness.
“The event encourages teams to really get out there and spread the word, ask for donations and support, and tell their family and friends about what they’re doing and why they’re doing it,” says Ms Edmanson.
“The event is extremely effective in terms of attracting huge crowds of people around Wellington who may not even know what Relay for Life is.”
She says when they pop in on the day to see what’s going at Frank Kitts Park on Wellington’s waterfront, it automatically raises the awareness about cancer.
The relay starts at 3.30pm on Saturday and finishes on Sunday morning, with one team member on the track at all times to symbolise that cancer never sleeps.
While registrations are at a record, more onlookers are still welcomed down to be part of the Candle Light ceremony and the Survivor and Carer celebrations.
“The event is a huge wake up call, especially during the Candle Light Ceremony,” says Ms Edmanson.
“It’s when all the candle bags are lit up and symbolize people who have suffered from cancer, either survivors, people currently going through it or people who sadly did not make it.”
Ms Edmanson writes weekly for the Cancer Society ‘Relay News’, and will also be helping out at the event this weekend taking photos.
“I absolutely love helping others, especially for the Cancer Society as they have been an amazing organization to both me and my family,
“I really enjoy getting involved with this event, as well as volunteering on Daffodil Day.”