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Wednesday, 4 February 2009
Page: 442

Mr SIDEBOTTOM (10:55 AM) —Good morning, colleagues. In May 1985, colorectal surgeon and avid runner, Dr Gordy Klatt, took the first step of a 24-hour walk and run around a track in Tacoma, Washington. For interest, he clocked up 83 miles and he raised $27,000 in 1985 to support the American Cancer Society. Out of that has grown the worldwide Relay for Life, which is now the world’s largest cancer fundraising event, involving 20 countries. On the weekend of 21 and 22 March at the Dial sports centre in Penguin in my electorate of Braddon we are holding the Relay for Life. We have an ALP team, which will consist of myself and the three state members for Braddon—Bryan Green, Steve Kons and Brenton Best—plus our office staff and friends. The Relay for Life is an outdoor overnight relay fundraising event, held all over the country. I am sure many members here are familiar with it. It involves teams of 10 to 15 people taking turns to walk or run around a track to raise money for cancer support and information services, particularly in Tasmania for the Cancer Council of Tasmania. As well as raising money for cancer research, the relay honours the lives of those touched by cancer and features a survivor’s walk as well as a candlelit ceremony to honour those who have lost their battle with cancer.

In Tasmania more than 2,400 people are diagnosed with cancer each year and unfortunately 1,000 of those will die. One in three Tasmanians will receive a cancer diagnosis in our lifetimes. The disease touches us all in one way or another. Relay for Life attracts more than 7,200 people grouped in hundreds of teams at venues right around Tasmania each year. In 2008, Tasmania raised $1.2 million through Relay for Life, or the equivalent of $2 per head of population. The event is not just about the amazing experience of spending the weekend with others in our local communities; it is a fun way that a team can raise money in the lead-up to the day. If anyone listening would like to contribute to my campaign, I am in RG32 in Parliament House and shop 2, 32 Wilmot Street in Burnie. Finally, I am going to dedicate my walk in particular to my late sister-in-law, Marianne Langford Sidebottom, who unfortunately died of cancer at the age of 51 last year.