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Cancer Society Relay for Life arrives in Chch

Media release: 25 January 2008

Cancer Society Relay for Life arrives in Christchurch

Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, which honours the lives of people touched by cancer, is being hosted for the first time in Christchurch.

The 24-hour Relay for Life is being held at QE2 from 12 noon on Saturday 1 March until 12 noon on Sunday 2 March.

Relay for Life represents the hope that those who have lost their lives to cancer will not be forgotten and that those who face cancer will be supported.

All funds raised are used in our community to support cancer patients, their families and the health professionals that support them. As well as this funds are used to promote our health promotion messages such as being SunSmart and Smokefree and to fund cancer research.

“All Cantabrians are encouraged to put together a team to take part in this exciting overnight relay – whether they are a family group, sports team, business or community group – everyone is welcome,” says Jane Sherriff, from the Canterbury/West Coast Division of the Cancer Society.

The $10 registration fee paid by each participant provides them with a camp site, free breakfast and Relay for Life T-Shirt. Each team is then encouraged to fundraise for the Cancer Society before and during Relay for Life.

Fitness is not an issue as most of the participants walk round the track, and people of all ages participate.”

Relay for Life starts with a survivors’ lap of honour where cancer survivors walk around the track. After the first lap family and friends join in and Relay for Life is underway. A candlelight service is held on Saturday night to remember those people who are no longer with us.

“Each team carries a baton around the track and there are no rules about whether team members walk or run, how often or for how long,” says Jane Sherriff.

The Cancer Society helps people throughout Canterbury and the West Coast with a range of support services including a Cancer Information free phone line (0800 CANCER – 0800 226 237), transport assistance, accommodation assistance for our of town patients, welfare grants, patient support groups.

Relay for Life team captains provide the link between the team and the Cancer Society and regular meetings are held in the lead up to Relay for Life. People are encouraged to enter a team as soon a s possible.

“To date we have 25 teams entered but we’d like to see a whole lot more people become involved,” says Jane.

Relay for Life started in America in 1985 and, since then, has developed into the world’s biggest fundraising event and is now held in 4500 locations in 21 countries. The first event in New Zealand was held in Palmerston North in 1991.

“Relay for Life is a community event and people are welcome to visit over the weekend. There will be entertainment and plenty of fun,” says Jane.

For more information and to register your team phone 03 379 5835, email or visit


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