Cancer Connections

Beating Cancer in the Highlands ... This column is brought to you regularly by the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee and is first published in the Lifestyle section of the Southern Highland News. It is designed to inform everybody of matters relating to cancer in our local community and the wider society. We aim to focus on local news, forthcoming events, services and other cancer issues.

Cancer Connections - May 2014

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Relay For Life 2014

Remember the day ? Saturday, 3rd May ? The weather : cold, wet and windy. Did that deter people from attending ? No way ! Over 1000 people from the Southern Highlands turned up in their various teams to remember those taken by cancer and to celebrate those who presently cope with the disease. Our keynote speaker, Barbara Williams, was both entertaining and inspiring as she described the excitement she had in forming a breast cancer dragonboat team and competing at regattas. The full text of what she had to say can now be read on this website : just click on the News & Events item.

The Survivors and Carers Walk signalled the commencement of the actual relay. Andrew Hearn, the Berrima auctioneer, led the way again this time with a swirl of his bagpipes and a complete indifference to the rain falling at that time. Despite the conditions, this year’s Relay was a resounding success ! For starters, the target of $200,000 had been reached before the day even began. By the end of May, the funds raised were in excess of $284,000 !. Truly this is an amazing result and demonstrates once again the tremendous generosity of the Southern Highlands community in helping others.

Donations put to work
How does Cancer Council use these funds ? Firstly there is the costly area of research into the causes and the treatment of cancer. Cancer Council NSW will spend over $15 million on research alone this year. In our local area, they finance the Patient Transport Service bus, the GAPS program supporting patients and carers in their own homes, and the information resource stands now available in a number of medical centres. They support the Southern Highlands Cancer Leadership Committee and provided the funds to establish this website. And all local cancer patients and carers have access to their wide range of support services : the Helpline on 13 11 20; telephone, online and one-to-one peer support programs; financial assistance; prevention programs; the Sunsmart schools and community speakers programs in addition to their extensive cancer information services.

Miss Relay 2014
Maybe conditions on the day caused a reduction in the number of contestants – there were 20 entrants two years ago – but nevertheless a quality field turned out this year. Before the contestants headed off to seek contributions, the early betting possibly favoured the seductive Nicola, who may have been lacking in dress sense but more than made up for it in (shall we say) maturity of years. It was Jasmina, however, who ultimately stole the show in a decisive manner. Known to his friends as James Smith from Krebs 4 Us, our new Miss Relay was strong enough to even defeat the 2012 winner, Miss Randy Tart.

Obviously with an eye to the weather, James chose a fetching little number in brilliant red satin, set off with an eye-catching white polka dot pattern on the bodice. Already streets ahead in the fashion stakes as it was, Jasmina then pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the bucket : a cheque for $500 from his employer. This was enough to trump all other collections and the title was his.

Mother’s Day Classic
By the time this column goes to press, the inaugural Bowral Mother's Day Classic Walk for Breast Cancer will have been held at Bong Bong Racecourse, Sunday, May 11th. Proceeds will go towards the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The success of this venture is all due to the great work done by Georgie Cousens, Jess Hunter, and their team of volunteers who decided to establish this as an annual event.

BowelCare Australia Program for 2014
Most pharmacies in the Southern Highlands are participating in the BowelCare Australia Program. Kits are available at pharmacies through to May 24th and must be returned to a participating pharmacy for pathology testing prior to June 7th. The $10 cost for each kit covers the testing and notification of results. So, why not “Get checked”.

Coming Events
• National Volunteer Week, May 12th – 18th
• Biggest Morning Teas will be held in the week beginning May 19th
• National Palliative Care Week, May 25th – 31st
• World No Tobacco Day, May 31st
• June is Bowel Cancer Awareness Month
• Can Assist meeting, Thurs., June 12th, 10am at the old Bowral Hospital.

Grahame Hackett (Chair, SHCLC)
0407 234 780 or


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