11 February 2020
This year, the Adelaide Central Relay For Life is celebrating 20 years supporting South Australians impacted by cancer. Grange local Pam Traynor is proud to have been a part of the event since the very beginning.
Pam has been involved with Relay For Life since it started, first signing up as a volunteer to give back and support others after she retired from teaching.
Fundraising for Cancer Council SA was an obvious choice—years earlier, Pam had lost her brother to Melanoma at just 42 years of age.
“The Cancer Council Team called up and asked if I could volunteer at an event called Relay For Life. I said I was more than happy to. When I got to the event, I was absolutely blown away by how many people were there, all for a common cause.
“I signed up a team not long after and am proud to say, we have been involved ever since.”
Over the past 20 years Pam has seen the event grow in leaps and bounds. Her connection to Cancer Council SA has also continued to grow, with many people in her life touched by cancer since that first event.
“My older sister was one of the original members of our team and loved taking part. Sadly she was also diagnosed with and lost her life to melanoma just like my younger brother. My younger sister and I have also had melanoma surgery.”
“I’ve also seen countless work colleagues, family and friends all face cancer. Every time I hear a story, it motivates me to continue to do more. It really is a team effort and would not have been possible without the very generous support of Peter Brian of the Alberton Hotel as well as the Characters Fundraising Group who donate their money raised to our team,” she said.
Since that first event 20 years ago, Pam and her team of family and friends have raised an incredible $250,000 to support South Australians impacted by cancer.
“Reflecting back on the past 20 years, you really can see how far we’ve come. One of our fellow team members lost his wife to breast cancer five years after my brother passed way. When you compare the treatment she had with what we are able to do today, it’s truly incredible.”
“Research has come such a long way with regards to improving the treatments of various types of cancers as well as people’s survival rates,” she said.
“You also look at the changes we’ve made in prevention, education and awareness. People are now more aware about the dangers of smoking, they know how to protect their skin from the sun and the importance of exercise and diet in cutting your cancer risk. It’s thanks to fundraisers like this that we’ve been able to make those changes.”
Pam says that Relay For Life has a special place in her heart and hopes to be involved for years to come.
“Every year I go, I see familiar faces which is so lovely. It just has such a wonderful atmosphere—having so many people, all in one place, keen to make a difference. It’s pretty special,” she said.
Celebrating it’s 20th anniversary this year, The Adelaide Central Relay For Life is the largest Relay event in the state, bringing together teams of all ages to relay towards a cancer free future.
A community fundraising challenge held over 19 hours, Relay sees teams raise money in the lead up to an overnight event, where participants take turns walking around a track to signify that cancer never rests, so neither do we.
Since it started, the Adelaide Central Relay For Life has raised more than $4 million, which has gone towards funding research, prevention, advocacy and support programs that change lives.
To find out more about Adelaide Central Relay For Life and to register visit www.relayforlife.com.au and search for ‘Adelaide Central.’
About Relay For Life
Created in the USA in 1985, Relay is now the biggest fundraising event of its kind on the planet, taking place in over 27 countries around the world. It’s a chance for communities to recognise and celebrate those who have overcome cancer or are undergoing treatment, as well as the people who care for them. Relay also provides an opportunity to celebrate the memory of loved ones lost to cancer. To find out more visit www.relayforlife.com.au.
About Cancer Council SA
Cancer Council SA is South Australia’s leading cancer charity working across every aspect of every cancer. Here in SA, every day, we support families affected by cancer when they need it most, speak out on behalf of the community on cancer issues, empower people to reduce their cancer risk, and find new ways to better detect and treat cancer. With your help, we’re getting closer to a cancer free future every day.