Team focus on cancer-affected loved ones in Relay for Life

Bella Smith, Charlize Wood, Riley Smith, Tash Taylor, Tanya McColgan and Donna Smith continue their fundraising efforts in Relay for Life.
Bella Smith, Charlize Wood, Riley Smith, Tash Taylor, Tanya McColgan and Donna Smith continue their fundraising efforts in Relay for Life.

FOR the past five years Donna Smith, Tash Taylor and Tanya McColgan have formed a team to take part in the WA Cancer Council’s Joondalup Wanneroo Relay for Life at Arena Joondalup.

The 24-hour event, which will be held on the October 17-18 weekend, will involve teams of 10 or more camping overnight in tents, with at least one member walking or running around the track over the 24 hours.

Funds raised will help the council with its research and support programs.

Team captain Donna Smith said the team had a different name each year to honour a family member or friend fighting cancer, or one who had died from cancer.

“We named our team ‘Berenice’s Beauties’ this year, after Berenice Carter, a landscape photographer and close friend,” she said. “Berenice passed away in April; she had lymphoma.

“It would have been her 60th birthday at the relay, so this year our batons will be disposable cameras. We will take lots of photos, as Berenice would have wanted us to do that.

“One year we called the team ‘Macca’s Babes’ in tribute to Tanya’s dad and a friend named Babe. Another year we named the team ‘Lotus Ladies’ in tribute to our friend Katherine Sturtridge.”

Tanya said the relay and Cancer Council had given her support and strength to keep going at a difficult time. “It helps you realise you are not alone, and that is a comfort,” she said. “But the hardest year was when my dad was dying, while I was caring for him at home.

“However, the Cancer Council provides lots of information and the statistics that make you feel more comfortable about the future. The stats are coming down all the time, because the awareness is out there and good research is being done.”

Donna said the team included members’ children. “The kids help out at the relay and they will run and walk with us,” she said. “They plan to make up and sell lolly bags to raise money at the relay.”

For more information on the Joondalup Wanneroo Relay for Life phone 0417 922 726 or email relayforlifejoondalupwanneroo@gmail.com