Relay for Life Returns to Coomera Anglican… | Coomera Anglican College

Relay for Life Returns to Coomera Anglican College for Tenth Year

Coomera Anglican College is preparing to host the 10th annual Relay for Life for the Northern Gold Coast on Saturday 26 October, 2019. 

An initiative of the Cancer Council, Relay for Life recognises and celebrates those who have overcome cancer, are undergoing treatment or have lost loved ones to the disease, as well as raising vital funds for research.

Held at the Coomera Anglican College campus, students, teachers and members of the Gold Coast community will commence the Relay from 2:00pm on Saturday 26 October and take turns walking in groups during the night until the event ends at 8am the next morning.

Coomera Anglican College’s Relay for Life Coordinator, Elton Stirling, said last year there were 33 team entered, with numbers already surpassing that in 2019.
 
“So far we have more than 60 students and 12 teachers from Coomera Anglican College taking part, plus hundreds from our local community who will be joining the fight against cancer,” said Mr Stirling.
 
“It’s a fun event, but it’s a very sombre night – we enjoy it, but we feel the seriousness of the cause and why we are there to support it.”
 
For Mr Stirling, the impact of the event hits close to home, with his wife Gwen diagnosed with cancer in 2016, as well as the passing of a school parent last year from the disease. 
 
“There’s always someone – a friend or family member – that you know has been touched by this dreadful disease,” he said. “It’s good for our community to hold this event as a way to get together, honour loved ones and fight back against the disease that claims so many lives each year.”

Mr Stirling’s wife, Gwen, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016 at 50 years of age. She had been conscious of a lump for over 6 months and mentioned it casually to her doctor during another routine check up.
 It was then that she was sent for further scans and tests, which returned with the positive result of cancer. For Gwen, a mother of two daughters, the diagnosis was a shock.
 
“I was the first person in my family to be diagnosed with cancer – I was not expecting this to happen to me,” she said.
 
Gwen immediately underwent a double mastectomy and grueling radiation every day for 25 days. Returning to work as a dental nurse several months later, she did chemotherapy in her lunch breaks.
 
Three years later, Gwen remains cancer free and this year will walk in the Relay for Life alongside her husband and work colleagues who are entering a team in the event.
“I’ve been doing the event every year for the past 10 years with Elton, and now my work colleagues will enter a team as so many of them have been affected by cancer within their family or through someone they know,” she said.

The funds raised through Relay for Life are vital in supporting, assisting and educating newly diagnosed cancer patients as well researching new and better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease.

 Members of the public are encouraged to get involved in the event by entering or joining a team, or donating to the Coomera Anglican College team at https://secure.fundraising.cancer.org.au/site/TR/RelayforLife/CCQLD?pg=entry&fr_id=5903