City unites in cancer fight
Relay for Life delivers message
CLAIRE Mitchell is still coming to terms with her cancer diagnosis.
In May she was told she has the very rare medullary thyroid cancer.
“It was a bit of shock,” the Cairns North woman said.
“I’d had some symptoms for a while and was trying to figure out what was wrong with me. A very good doctor picked it up, luckily for me.
“I’m still in the process of getting treatment and operations. It’s a journey.”
Ms Mitchell took part in Saturday night’s Cairns Relay For Life for the first time to raise awareness.
Also taking part in the walk for the first time, as part of the Pink Phoenix Group, was Freshwater’s Sue Dundas.
In September 2015 Ms Dundas was diagnosed with stage two breast cancer, which had spread to her first lymph nodes.
She needed six rounds of chemotherapy and a double mastectomy.
“My cancer was diagnosed at a routine mammogram,” she said. • The Cairns Relay For Life is an 18-hour event. • Beside the track were 470 daffodils representing the 470 Far North Queensland lives lost to cancer since last year’s Relay For Life event. • In the last 12 months, 1430 Far North Queenslanders have been diagnosed with some form of cancer.
“It was pretty devastating … quite a shock to the system.
“I’ve finished all my treatment now, I’ve just returned to work and I’m enjoying life again.”
The 2017 Cairns Relay for Life event at Barlow Park kicked off with the survivors and carers walk at 2.45pm on Saturday. The event finished at 9am yesterday.
“We had 107 teams registered this year,” said Cairns Relay For Life event manager Christina French.
This year’s aim for Cairns was to raise $220,000.
“When I checked last night, I haven’t checked today. Last time I checked, we were at $175,000,” Ms French said. “But we banked $15,000 yesterday alone. I’m really confident that we’re going to hit our target.”
Both Ms Mitchell and Ms Dundas want to raise awareness for the cause.
“I also just wanted to raise awareness for the Cancer Council,” Ms Mitchell said.
“They’ve been really brilliant to me.
Ms Mitchell said she had been worried participating in the walk would dredge up feelings of sadness. “But it’s a really good vibe,” she said.
Ms Dundas said: “It’s very exciting to see so many people out there supporting us and supporting the cause.”
WHEN I CHECKED LAST NIGHT, I HAVEN’T CHECKED TODAY, WE WERE AT $175,000. BUT WE BANKED $15,000 YESTERDAY ALONE. I’M REALLY CONFIDENT THAT WE’RE GOING TO HIT OUR TARGET.
CQUniversity’s unique vision for diversity, outreach, engagement, research, learning and teaching, and inclusiveness, combined with its growth aspirations and expansion of student success have led to it being recognised as one of the top 500 universities in the world. CQUniversity is being called upon to expand its presence in Cairns and the Far North to create a campus presence that specifically delivers on the unique requirements of the local community and industry. Since establishing a presence in Cairns only five years ago, CQUniversity has grown exponentially, with over 1000 current students and employing more than 140 locals. CQUniversity has invested heavily in the region and has now identified several key areas for future growth that have the potential to bring about significant social and economic benefit to Cairns and the Far North.
HAIR-RAISING AWARENESS: Cancer survivors Claire Mitchell and Sue Dundas turned out to support the Relay for Life at Barlow Park.