'Message of hope': South Tyneside cancer survivors to be honoured at Jarrow Relay for Life
Organisers of the Jarrow Relay for Life are appealing for cancer survivors to join them in a special opening ceremony for the event.
The annual 24-hour relay event will take place at Monkton Stadium in Jarrow on Saturday, July 13 at 11am, for the 13th year running.
Cancer survivors, and loved ones who have supported them through their illness, will take part in a special lap of honour to officially open the event, before being invited for celebrations and refreshments.
Paula Fowler, from East Boldon, who was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer in 2017, will be speaking at the opening ceremony.
The 50-year-old who has previously taken part in the relay in memory of her dad, will be joined on the day by her mum, Lynn Storey, who is also suffering from breast cancer.
At least 50 survivors are expected to be involved in the ceremony, but organisers are appealing to anyone who wishes to sign up, to do so before registration closes on Friday, July 5.
“All the survivors walking together with their purple shirts on is a really good message of hope. The more survivors there are, the bigger the message,” said organiser and chair of Jarrow Relay for Life, Ann Walsh.
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“The money we are raising makes a really big difference to those who are going through cancer.”
The relay, which will see 560 participants, in 45 teams, take turns to walk the stadium track throughout the day and night, has so far raised £48,468 for Cancer Research UK.
“A lot of relays are struggling to get people to come back, but we are still doing well and raising a lot of money,” said Ann.
“We set ourselves a very high target of £85,000, because if we get that again this year that would take us to £750,000 in total. But whatever we raise is brilliant.”
A Candle of Hope Ceremony will also be held as part of the event, in memory of those who have lost their lives, and in celebration of those still here.
Survivors and participants can sign up by searching for Cancer Research UK Jarrow Relay for Life.