CANCER survivors and their carers are invited to take part in the opening lap of Toowoomba's 2017 Relay for Life and an afternoon tea marked by hope.
Now in its 16th year, Relay for Life - at Queens Park on May 20 and 21 - raises funds for cancer research and support services for patients and their families, with the ultimate goal of a cancer-free future.
Cancer Council Queensland's Jillian Huth said Saturday's opening lap and afternoon tea will recognise the courage of survivors and their carers.
Last year the relay attracted 145 teams, 1471 participants and raised $187,758.
Jillian hopes this year will be just as successful and encourages people to participate in the relay or sponsor teams.
This year's theme is Colours of Hope to recognise, support and raise awareness of all the different cancers affecting people.
"Relay for Life really is a unique community event,” Jillian said.
"The reasons to relay are different for everyone, and that diversity brings an amazing mix of community members together to celebrate, remember and fight back against cancer.
"Without the community support and generosity, we wouldn't be able to put this event together or raise as much as we do each year.”
Sadly, cancer knows no age limits and the face of this year's relay is 11-year-old Ally Chant, who was diagnosed with a stage three Wilms tumour in 2012 and after complications from the removal of her left kidney is literally fighting back in Toowoomba through her love of Sublimate BJJ (Brazilian jiu jitsu).
Her story will be among those shared on the day, which is open to the public until 11pm Saturday and after 6am Sunday, so anyone can go along and cheer on participants.
There is also a special candlelight ceremony at 6pm on Saturday.
While the relay is a team event, Jillian said individuals were welcome to go along.
"Cancer Council Queensland believes that no one should have to go through cancer alone,” Jillian said.
"Money raised goes towards services like our Olive McMahon Lodge, which provides free accommodation for cancer patients and their families.”
Final registrations for the afternoon tea are on May 15, so email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 4690 5900.
There is a team information night at 5.30pm on May 17 at Toowoomba City Library.
DID YOU KNOW?
- One in two Queenslanders will be diagnosed with cancer by age 85.
- One person is diagnosed with cancer every 20 minutes in Queensland.
- About 2040 people in South-West Queensland are diagnosed with cancer each year.
- About 660 people in the region die from Cancer each year.
- The five most common cancers in the region are prostate, melanoma, colorectal, breast and lung cancer.