IT’S very personal.
For Daryll Winter, cancer robbed him of his mother when he was only 5. It took his father from him eight years ago, and has also taken other family members.
Daryll and his team are fighting back.
This is the fourth time he will be taking part in Relay For Life, a biennial event which raises funds for The Cancer Society, as part of the Stabicraft Marine group where he works.
Held every two years, the next relay at Rugby Park will begin at 2pm on Saturday, March 10, and finish at 10am the following day.
“We get to meet so many interesting people at the event… the comradeship… everyone’s pulling together for the same goal.
“Some of the stories you hear are inspiration and some are very sad… it’s all about making their process a bit easier.”
Daryll’s team of 10, named the Weird Wallies and dressed in team colours resembling the Where’s Wally character, have been fundraising towards the overnight event.
Originally with a team target of $3000, they upped the amount when they passed $4000 to $5000, he said.
“We thought we would go for a big number.”
So they organised various fundraising events, including a car trial, garage sales and raffles.
With 30 team vacancies still to fill for the event, Daryll challenged other businesses to support the cause and enter a team.
The Cancer Society of New Zealand, Otago and Southland events campaigns co-ordinator Amy Hibbs said the event was an inspirational and super fun event for everyone of all fitness levels, during which participants celebrated with survivors, remembered loved ones lost to cancer and came together as a community to fight back against cancer.
Teams set up camp and took turns relay-style, walking or running, around a track for 20 hours while enjoying a carnival atmosphere of live music, entertainment, games, activities and great community camaraderie.
Ms Hibbs said the relay was not just about raising money, it was also about people walking together and for those who needed support, as one in three people would be affected during their lifetime.
Funds raised from the relay would be used in Southland and Otago to support people who had been affected by cancer, and also to fund research.
Ms Hibbs was hoping for 100 teams to take part. So far 70 teams had registered, so 30 tent spaces were still available, she said.
“I encourage people to get in quick or they may miss out… come on Southland, let’s fill up Rugby Park.”
For those who were struggling to find enough people to make up a team, but were still keen to take part, the society could help introduce people to make up a team, she said.