Illawarra residents will put their best foot forward for a vital cause this weekend.
Several hundred participants have already registered for the annual Wollongong Relay for Life.
The event, now in its 18th year, will take place at the Kerryn McCann Athletics Centre (Beaton Park), Gwynneville, kicking off at 9.30am on Saturday.
Relay For Life is an overnight, community event whereby teams participate in a relay-style walk or run to raise funds for Cancer Council NSW.
Since its inception, more than three million dollars has been raised by the Wollongong Relay, providing vital funds to support patients, carers and families.
In partnership with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, $550,000 has been allocated to improving cancer services in the Illawarra.
Cancer Council NSW is aiming to ease the financial burden of cancer by providing patients, their carers and families with affordable and comfortable accommodation when they need to travel for treatment.
They have partnered with Illawarra Cancer Services at Wollongong Hospital to upgrade the facilities at Alkira Lodge to create a more comfortable environment where patients, their carers and families can not only stay but access practical and emotional support.
“It is the success of Wollongong Relay for Life over recent years that has enabled Cancer Council to form this partnership with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Heath District,” Cancer Council NSW Southern Region community lead Grant Plecas said.
“Patient accommodation is a key strategic initiative for Cancer Council NSW.
“Through our involvement in this area we aim to ensure that all patients who are required to travel for treatment can access affordable accommodation facilities during their cancer treatment.
“Patient accommodation facilities act as a key engagement point for patients and carers, providing access to comprehensive cancer programs, information and support services.”
Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District’s co-director of Cancer Services Nicola Ryan said the collaborative partnership between the ISLHD Cancer Services and the Cancer Council “is an exciting arrangement for us and for our patients”.
“The partnership will enable us to offer access to more resources, information and support for our patients as they are travelling through their cancer journey,” she said.
Participants can walk as many laps as they wish.
You can visit www.relayforlife.com.au or phone 4223 0200 to register.
Registrations can also be made on the day.