Survivors join Relay for Life
NATHAN Hodge was understandably scared when he got the news in July last year that he had a brain tumour.
The 15-year-old Southern Cross School K-12 student said he was "scared to see if I was going to even survive or not".
After seven months of chemotherapy and radiation at the Royal Children's Hospital in Brisbane, he was given the all-clear.
One year after his diagnosis, he was told he was in full remission.
"It was awesome," he said of that news.
"It was indescribable - the relief that it gave everybody. Not just me, but my family as well."
Cancer affects youth, men and women.
This weekend, Nathan will lead one of two Southern Cross School K-12 teams in the Ballina Relay for Life, which starts on Saturday, October 29, and ends on Sunday morning.
It's a major fundraiser for the Cancer Council, and 57 teams have signed up to the event at Kingsford Smith Park, already having raised nearly $30,000.
The other captain of the school team is 14-year-old Ashleigh McNamara, who had an ovary removed last year after a low-grade malignant cyst was found.
Kendall Atkinson, a 33-year-old real estate agent from The Professionals in Ballina, will lead a team, too. He aims to raise awareness about men's cancers, having been diagnosed and treated for testicular cancer two years ago.
And Janelle Dean, owner of Sublime in Ballina, has just finished her treatment on her own cancer journey.
About 100 people attended a Curry for Cancer night at the Indian Mumtaj Restaurant in Ballina last Saturday night, which was a fundraiser for her Relay for Life team, Team Sublime.
Janelle thanked the businesses that donated prizes for that event.
Chair of the Ballina Relay for Life committee, Kim Vincent, said she was happy with the support the relay had received.
There was a time late last year when it looked like a relay wouldn't be held this year because of lack of volunteers for the organising committee.
But it's now on, and Kim encouraged other who weren't in a team to head along to Kingsford Smith Park on Saturday and register to take part or support the event.
A candlelight ceremony of hope will be held at 7pm on Saturday, October 29.
Meanwhile, the Anglican Parish of Ballina is holding a prayer service in St. Mary's Church, on the corner of Norton and Burnet streets, Ballina, tomorrow, October 28, from 6pm to remember those who have lost their cancer battle or are currently on their cancer journey.