08 October 2018
In 2012, at just seven years of age, McLaren Vale local Tiana Saunders was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma—it’s news that changed her, and her family’s life in an instant.
Now, six years on, the motivated teenager is taking part in the Southern Regions Relay For Life as her way to give back and support others touched by cancer.
Tiana explains how her diagnosis impacted her and her family’s life immensely.
“I was seven years old when I was told that I had a Neuroblastoma on my left sympathetic nerve. This is a cancer that children get. In other words it was a big tumour over my heart,” she explained.
“I was operated on and the tumour removed, I was in hospital for a week and then not allowed to do anything at all for seven weeks. I was lucky that they did get it all but it was really an awful time,” she said.
Now thirteen years old and doing really well, Tiana says that the experience changed her forever.
“It’s changed my perspective on life and made me realise that a cure needs to be found and I want to help to raise funds to make that happen.”
“I’m feeling really good now and I am getting stronger all the time. Apart from some nerve damage that has left me with a few issues, I am really healthy and loving life.”
It’s Tiana’s passion to make a difference that has inspired her to sign up and take part in the Southern Regions Relay For Life this October.
Her second Relay, this time, she is taking part with her family and friends in their team, Harlequin Heroes, named after one of the conditions she now suffers, Harlequin Sign.
“I've done one Relay before and I loved it. So many people turned up. I took part in the Survivor and Carer lap and it was amazing. I was the youngest person there so everyone pushed me to the front near the banner. It was just such an amazing experience to be part of.”
“I want to raise funds to help find a cure. I have done many other fundraisers and Relay For Life is another great way to give back and raise lots of money. I am really excited about the Southern Regions Relay For Life, it’s an amazing experience to be part of and I just love it.”
The Southern Regions Relay For Life will be held from Saturday 13 to Sunday 14 October at the McLaren Vale Football Oval and teams from across the region, including Victor Harbor are encouraged to attend.
The event will be the first time the Southern Fleurieu and McLaren Vale relays will combine to create an even bigger and better Relay in the region.
At the inaugural event the dedicated committee is hoping to recruit 20 teams from the region and raise $40,000 for Cancer Council SA, with the money raised supporting prevention, research, support and advocacy programs that save lives.
Southern Regions Committee Chair Dennis Ploenges is looking forward to leading the inaugural event.
“Relay For Life is a true community event. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to all get together, have some fun and take part in a unique experience that makes a real difference to the lives of those in the community affected by cancer.”
“Cancer touches everyone – whether you have lived through it yourself or seen it impact someone close to you, we all have a cancer experience.”
“This event allows everyone in the community to band together and a make a difference and that’s why it’s so important.”
To find out more about the 2018 Southern Regions Relay For Life and register a team visit www.relayforlife.org.au and search for ‘Southern Regions.’
Event Details – Southern Regions Relay For Life
When: Saturday October 13 at 2.00pm to Sunday October at 9.00am
Where: McLaren Vale Football Oval
Register: At www.relayforlife.org.au and search for ‘Southern Regions’