FIGHT BACK: Breast cancer survivor Kellie Grant with her sister and carer Melissa Foster at Orange and District Relay for Life on Saturday. Photo: ALEXANDRA KING KELLIE Grant was proud to be able to walk around the Orange and District Relay for Life track in the Survivors and Carers lap for the first time on Saturday.
The Orange woman was diagnosed with breast cancer in February last year, and after a year of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, can call herself a cancer survivor.
She walked with her sister and carer Melissa Foster alongside many other survivors and carers in the lap that kicked off Cancer Council’s Relay for Life at Waratah Sportsground.
“[The Survivors and Carers lap] makes you think of the people who haven’t survived, you think of the loved ones who have passed away,” Mrs Grant said.
“We’re all here for the same reason. It’s not a competition, it’s about remembering, but its also about spreading hope.”
Mrs Grant said by participating in the Relay for Life, she hoped to encourage more people to be cancer aware.
“I didn’t realise the importance of checking yourself. When I turned 40 last year, I thought getting a mammogram was just part of that stage of your life. I was diagnosed not long after my birthday,” she said.
“If it’s caught early, you have a much higher chance of surviving. And with the treatments today, you have a much better chance than you did 20 years ago.”
Mrs Grant’s thoughts echoed those expressed during the opening ceremony, with speeches from Relay for Life committee chairman Terry Betts, Orange Aboriginal Medical Service CEO Jamie Newman, Sydney-based cancer researcher Professor David Smith, and member for Orange Andrew Gee.
“We’re going to beat cancer as a result of this weekend,” Mr Betts said.
“We need to take the opportunity to fight back against cancer. There is a lot we can do as individuals and there is a lot we can do as a collective.”
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