Lifestyle

Relay walkers streets ahead

READY TO RELAY: The 2010 Mad Hatters team included Jarrod Bleijie, his mother Christine and Leah Stepto. They are holding a picture of Sgt Linden Bleijie, of the Australian ISF, their brother, son and partner, who was stationed in East Timor. The event did a live cross to him last year.
READY TO RELAY: The 2010 Mad Hatters team included Jarrod Bleijie, his mother Christine and Leah Stepto. They are holding a picture of Sgt Linden Bleijie, of the Australian ISF, their brother, son and partner, who was stationed in East Timor. The event did a live cross to him last year. Bobgoulde

CANCER never sleeps. It never takes a break, never rests, and it keeps you up all night.

Relay for Life is a community fundraising event held overnight where teams take part in a relay-style walk for 18 hours to raise money for the cancer council.

It’s held overnight so participants can get a small insight into the tiring and arduous journey of a cancer sufferer.

This will be Kawana MP Jarrod Bleijie’s fifth Relay for Life. For him, participation is personal.

Ten years ago, his mother Christine was diagnosed with a melanoma.

“Cancer never really had a lot to do with our family until mum got cancer,” he said.

“It just goes to show cancer really can happen to anyone. Mum was never one to sunbake.”

Just a couple of weeks ago, Christine had her five-year scans and was given the all-clear.

But as anyone with cancer knows, it only takes one cell for cancer to begin to grow again.

“We’re just praying it doesn’t come back,” Mr Bleijie said.

He said that one thing his mother’s cancer journey had taught him was to make the most of life: “To live your life in the moment and appreciate every minute.”

He and his mother formed a team, The Mad Hatters, and have participated for the past five relays. They wear crazy hats and work hard to raise as much money as possible for the worthwhile cause.

Mr Bleijie said the relay could be tough but was nothing compared to what his mother and other cancer sufferers went through.

“The relay really epitomises what a person living with cancer goes through. Cancer never sleeps. It’s there all the time. It goes to bed with you,” he said.

But Mr Bleijie assures the event is not all about doom and gloom.

“It’s about celebrating the survivors, remembering those that have lost their life and about giving hope and inspiration,” he said.

“And it brings so many community members together for a great cause.”

Last year, the event raised $70,000 for the cancer council and Mr Bleijie hopes this year they can raise even more.

As an additional fundraiser, he will be taking part in Dunk a Politician where, at midnight, he will get dunked into a freezing tank of water.

A live feed will be taken on a big screen of participants at another Relay for Life event, either in far North Queensland or America.

“It’s going to be a big night,” Mr Bleijie said.

The 2011 Cancer Council Relay for Life Kawana event will be held at Stockland Park on Saturday.

To sponsor The Mad Hatters, visit http://tiny.cc/gnkgi.

Topics:  lifestyle, relay for life


Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Elderly woman hit by car in Airlie Beach

An 80 year old woman was hit by a car on Shute Harbour Road this afternoon. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Times.

Elderly woman hit by car on Shute Harbour Road.

Snake bite in Airlie

Ambulance with lights on Photo Tony Martin / Daily Mercury

Snake bite at Airlie Beach residence.

Information night for the potentially fatal Hendra virus

Tegan King, Jason Mansfield and Jodie Russell outside the Proserpine Vet Surgery holding information and products necessary for horse vaccinations. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Coast Guardian.

Deadly Hendra virus one of the scariest things for Proserpine vet

Latest deals and offers

Brahmans break Norths

RUGBY LEAGUE: The Whitsunday Brahmans hosted a much improved Norths Devils in Reserve and A Grade on Saturday.

Witnesses wanted to Airlie Beach assault

Generic polic sign Photo Contributed

Police are seeking information about an assault in Airlie Beach

Elderly woman hit by car in Airlie Beach

An 80 year old woman was hit by a car on Shute Harbour Road this afternoon. Photo Inge Hansen / Whitsunday Times.

Elderly woman hit by car on Shute Harbour Road.

Premier men yet to be defeated

FLEET FEET: Amy Scanlon leaves a Lions defender in her wake at the weekend.

Premier men yet to be defeated

Hometown boy hits Aussie side

PROSSIE TALENT: Harry Hocking in the Queensland Reds U20s v Brumbies Colts game at Suncrop Stadium before the Reds v Blues.

Hometown boy hits Aussie side

Snake bite in Airlie

Ambulance with lights on Photo Tony Martin / Daily Mercury

Snake bite at Airlie Beach residence.

City’s most eligible bachelors go up for auction

Australia's favourite redhead twins and celebrity bachelors Stevie and Andy Mac will perform and be auctioned off at the Pink Hope Charity Male Auction Gala.

All women need to do is bid for the man who catches their eye

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 5

Officers drag the woman back to her cell

In this video the woman drinks water from the toilet.

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 4

In this video the woman asks for water as the tap in the room is broken

IBAC Evidence Police Bashing 3

In this video police continue their search and male officers are present despite...

Sale nears on last large block of land in Coolum

The 43.37ha property on South Coolum Rd has sold.

South Coolum Rd property to be land banked

Caloundra’s former Centrepoint Buffet site up for sale

FOR SALE: The home of the old Centrepoint Buffet

Restaurant fined for unhygienic practices closed months ago