Cessnock cancer survivor Liam Woods encourages community to attend 2019 Cessnock Relay For Life

TEAM: Liam Woods, Mackenzie Woods, Kirri-Ann Cuskelly, Bree Davey, Amanda Woods and Francesca Woods are taking part in the Cessnock Relay For Life on Sunday.

TEAM: Liam Woods, Mackenzie Woods, Kirri-Ann Cuskelly, Bree Davey, Amanda Woods and Francesca Woods are taking part in the Cessnock Relay For Life on Sunday.

The Cessnock community will come together at Baddeley Park this Sunday to celebrate cancer survival, remember loved ones lost and walk in hope of a cancer-free future at the city's 12th annual Relay For Life.

The event has raised more than $1 million for the Cancer Council since 2008, and continues to attract new teams each year.

Among this year's new teams is One Step At A Time, captained by Cessnock cancer survivor Liam Woods.

The 32-year-old father-of-two was diagnosed with leukaemia five years ago, and underwent a bone marrow transplant in April 2015.

Liam, his wife Amanda, their daughters Mackenzie (six) and Francesca (four) will be among more than 100 participants in 26 teams at the Cessnock relay this Sunday.

They encourage everyone to come along and support the event and the vital services the Cancer Council provides in the community - such as the transport-to-treatment vehicle.

"Most people know someone that's been affected by cancer," Amanda said.

"And you never know what's going to happen to you the next day," Liam added.

Liam has participated with another team in the past two Cessnock relays, and said walking in the survivors' lap was particularly emotional.

He has also joined the committee this year, as a way of giving back to the people who helped him.

"Many hands make light work, especially when it comes to cancer," he said.

EMOTIONAL: Liam Woods walks in the survivors and carers lap at the 2017 Cessnock Relay For Life.

EMOTIONAL: Liam Woods walks in the survivors and carers lap at the 2017 Cessnock Relay For Life.

The committee's decision to postpone the event from its original date of October 12 (due to a poor weather forecast) appears to have paid off - with a sunny 26 degrees predicted in Cessnock on Sunday.

Cancer Council community relations coordinator Clint Ekert said the good weather and other big events in the local area on Sunday (including the Australian Postie Bike Grand Prix and the Greta Camp celebrations) could prove to be a winning combination.

"The forecast is ideal weather for relay, and we're hoping that with such good weather, and so many people in town, that a lot of people come along and see what relay is all about, get hooked and come back next year," he said.

The Relay has already raised more than $30,000, and the postponement has allowed teams the chance to raise more money.

This includes the High Heel Challenge team - Clint and the relay's MC Anthony Burke - who will walk one lap in high heels per $100 their team raises by 4pm Sunday.

CHALLENGE: Anthony Burke and Clint Ekert will walk one lap of Baddeley Park in heels for $100 that is donated to their Cessnock Relay For Life fundraising page by 4pm Sunday.

CHALLENGE: Anthony Burke and Clint Ekert will walk one lap of Baddeley Park in heels for $100 that is donated to their Cessnock Relay For Life fundraising page by 4pm Sunday.

The event opens at 10am with a survivors' and carers' lap, and there's plenty of entertainment on stage throughout the day, including kids' activities, live music, dance performances and more.

Food and drink will be available throughout the event.

The candlelight ceremony of hope - which honours loved ones lost to cancer - will be held on dusk, followed by a lap of remembrance, then a fireworks display. The event will close at 8.30pm.

Survivors and carers are encouraged to register as a morning tea will follow the opening lap. Email cessnockrfl@nswcc.org.au or call 6572 5400.

To register your team, visit cancercouncil.org.au/cessnockrelay.

ENTERTAINMENT: Tara Naysmith is a long-time supporter of Cessnock Relay For Life.

ENTERTAINMENT: Tara Naysmith is a long-time supporter of Cessnock Relay For Life.

PROGRAM

Cessnock Relay For Life 2019

Baddeley Park, Sunday, November 10

  • 10am: Opening ceremony
  • 11am: Reese Hamilton
  • 12pm: Vocal group by Sarah
  • 1pm: Entertainment
  • 2pm: Entertainment
  • 3pm: Kirsty Gunther Academy of Dance
  • 4pm: Zumba with Kim
  • 5pm: Feather Chain
  • 6pm: Committee Surprise
  • 7pm: Tara Naysmith
  • 8pm: Remembrance ceremony with Tara Naysmith
  • 8.30pm: Fireworks and closing ceremony

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