I first joined Cancer Council’s Relay For Life Joondalup Wanneroo on the City of Wanneroo team in its inaugural year, 2008.
Even though I had little idea of what Relay was (I was asked to walk laps and wear a Relay shirt) my oldest daughter and I walked the horrible early hours shift from 2am to 4am and got wet.
We returned for the closing ceremony to find out more about the event and we have been hooked ever since.
The following year we returned with a family team, supported by the family business.
My father had passed away early in the year from pancreatic cancer, so it was now even more important to us to support a great event, raising money towards research and care services.
The Candlelight Ceremony was especially tough that year, however it was a great way to honour Dad’s memory and support others on similar journeys.
In 2010, with a good grasp of what we were doing as a team, we expanded our involvement to join the Relay For Life Joondalup Wanneroo organising committee.
As Leader of the Girl Guide unit we included them in the Guard of Honour with the Scouts.
This led to coordinating the children’s activities area in 2011 and 2012.
My eldest daughter, Georgia, then involved her Guide unit (Ballajura) in 2011 and as a team captain they have been involved every year since.
2012 saw us producing the Relay Teams newsletter, which has since been taken over by Mum (Lynn).
With the closure of the family business, the team morphed into the ‘Kalathumpians’ in 2012.
At this time I handed over the operations of the children’s activities to the Joondalup Region Guides units.
This allows more young people to be involved with the event and I remain as the coordinator of the area.
2015 was again another very difficult year for us – as it was the first time that I participated in Relay as a ‘survivor’.
It was with very mixed feelings that I walked the first lap with one of my cancer nurses.
With more time and confidence under my belt, 2016 saw me attend the survivors’ lap and afternoon tea.
Joined by a group of my fellow survivors that received treatment at the same time as me, as well as attending the ECU Vario Gym and LifeNow Yoga programs, we happily walked the first lap and had afternoon tea together.
This year we are on to bigger and better things again in my 10th year of involvement.
Our family team is registered, while Guides are involved again through registered teams, the Guard of Honour and the operation of the children’s activities.
For the first time the cancer unit that I attended, Genesis Cancer Care-Grace Unit, is registering a team.
Our family is truly invested in many aspects of Relay For Life Joondalup Wanneroo with my mum and two daughters on the Organising Committee and my youngest daughter a steadfast volunteer and team member.
My husband tends to get left with a lot of the team walking.
Relay For Life Joondalup Wanneroo is all about participation, families, friends, colleagues, loved ones and uniting the community for a common cause in the hope for a cancer free future.
To register for Relay For Life Joondalup Wanneroo, click here.