The quest to beat cancer

The Latrobe Valley community has thrown its support behind last weekend’s Relay for Life, raising about $90,000 for cancer research.

More than 800 participants making up 31 teams participated in the annual relay, with all proceeds going towards the Cancer Council.

Relay for Life Latrobe committee chair Sue Van Heurck said $89,254.34 had been raised so far with fundraising to continue for another month.

“The community has been absolutely generous with their donations, it’s been really fantastic,” Ms Van Heurck said.

She said she was thrilled to see eight teams raise more than $5000 each.

A personal highlight for Ms Van Heurck was her team, Thorpy Hopes, raising the most money – $12,213.50, while she also personally raised about $7000 through shaving her head.

“I’m bald as a badger but I’m really rapt,” she said.

Ms Van Heurck said the relay was an opportunity for people to come together and share their story.

“Everyone has their own story, cancer affects everyone – that’s why people support it,” she said.

Participants engaged in fun activities and dress-ups throughout the event, which Ms Van Heurck said was a way to keep people moving throughout the night.

“The minimum amount of people on track at any one time was 40, which was fantastic,” she said.

“Even at 2am or 3am, there was still that many people on the track.

“A special moment was when the birds were singing as the sun came up. It was very special and very beautiful.”

Ms Van Heurck thanked the Valley community for their “extremely generous support” each year.

“My wish is one day to not see the next generation relaying as we had found a way to beat cancer,” she said.

Fundraising is still open. Those who wish to contribute can visit and search for Latrobe 2015 or the individual teams.