September 24th – 25th is Relay for Life in the Illawarra [details of the event can be found here]. Over 130 teams and 1000 participants will be taking part in the relay. For some, the reasons for doing so are more personal than others. Below is Shannae’s story.


Why I relay…

Cancer has touched my family in too many, my grandmother has just recently been diagnosed with lung cancer, not one caused by smoking, but one that every person aged from about 50yrs is quite common to get. Her treatment has not started yet, but it has already put a massive toll on my family as I am the only closest relative my grandparents have. Also in 2005 my father-in-law was diagnosed with throat cancer. After losing most of his teeth, his salivary glands, over 30kgs due to not being able to eat and an intense 6 month course of radio and chemotherapy. It has now been 5 years and they still cant tell him that he is cancer free. He has only put about 15kgs back on and still can’t eat properly. He has to carry around a pocket spray bottle to spray his mouth every minute as he will never get his salivary glands back and he finds it really hard to swallow food due to no lubrication. Every day is a battle for my mother-in-law to try and create new dishes that he can eat with no dramas. But the good news is that after 5 years he is still here.

Both husbands of my neighbours on either side of us have passed away from cancer in the past 13 months. Dave passed away due to a number of reasons, one of them was lymphatic cancer. He had been struggling with this for about 5 years which was continuously making him weaker and was causing more health issues. They became part of our family when he decided to take my son under his wing as an adopted-like great grandson. He loved transformers and would ask Jacob to play with his toys. Kevin was diagnosed with a very rare type of stomach cancer and within 3 months of his diagnosis he was gone. Having my 9yr old son see the horrible life surrounding cancer, I want to do everything in my power to help the Cancer Council research and find some cures.


Help me make a difference…

Cancer Council’s Relay for Life is coming to our community and I’m taking part. That’s right – I’m taking to the track and being proactive in the fight against cancer. Did you know that Cancer Council is Australia’s leading cancer charity dedicated to beating cancer through research? Cancer Council’s groundbreaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has saved thousands of lives. But statistics show that one in two of us will still get cancer at some point and Cancer Council’s vital work, funded entirely by the public, will help ensure that thousands more people will survive. So please help make a difference.

Find out more about Relay for Life in the Illawarra.

Shannae Correia

Shannae Correia walked just over 38kms and raised over $1,000 from last year’s relay for life. This year she has set herself a personal target of $2,000. She’ll be walking for the Berkeley West Public School. If you wish to help her achieve her target, you can donate online by going to her teams page. Every donation counts.

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