By Cam Lucadou-Wells
More than 2000 cancer survivors, carers and supporters have rallied together for the 24-hour Casey Relay for Life event on 2-3 March.
The relay at Akoonah Park, featuring a moving candlelight ceremony for loved ones, is expected to raise more than $300,000 for cancer research, treatment and support.
In its 15 year history, the Casey event has raised more than $4 million.
The Cancer Council fundraiser attracted 74 committed teams and 2243 participants who kept motoring through the event’s night and day.
Event organiser Daniel Margariti – a 26-year-old cancer survivor – entered a team with friends from the Young Adult Cancer Support (YACS) group that he founded.
Flanked by proud family and friends, the team surpassed all expectations raising more than $7500.
The event was an emotional experience for the YACS team. They walked the first relay lap hand-in-hand.
They are a tight group that want to get involved, to get out and do things, Mr Margariti said.
“To meet other people that feel the same way – it means the world.”
There’s no stopping Mr Margariti who has overcome a double-bout of cancer that spread to his stomach, spine and liver.
He has prospered from pioneering stem-cell transplant in 2015 – a last-resort option when Mr Margariti no longer responded to chemo.
He has since graduated in business and commerce, volunteered for charities and was a marketing driving force for this year’s Relay for Life.
At the event, Mr Margariti caught up with a survivor in his 40s who he’d met during three years of hospital stays.
In the past 12 months, the man had rallied to the point that he no longer required a walking stick to take part.
“We’ve both pledged to do the relay again next year.
“We’ve come a long way.”