Community rallies to raise funds for cancer research
WHEN Melissa Brown asked her doctor for a mammogram a couple of years ago she was told she didn't need one because she was too young.
Six months later she was diagnosed with breast cancer.
"I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer," she said.
"It's a really aggressive type, it's quick, it's just nasty and it spreads really easily."
Melissa received chemotherapy in Gladstone and travelled to Rockhampton for radiotherapy.
She's just finished treatment and said it doesn't take much to make her feel tired.
Melissa was asked to be the face of the Cancer Council's Relay for Life Gladstone 2018 event, held at Chanel College in West Gladstone over the weekend.
"It's an amazing privilege to be chosen to represent all the wonderful people who have gone through the battle," she said
"I've lost so many friends to cancer in the last two years, it's been very tough but I'm here to represent them."
Angela Ryan, senior coordinator for regional fund raising for Central Queensland for Cancer Council Queensland said the community's response to the annual event had been fantastic.
"Almost 500 people registered for the relay this year and there's over 50 teams," she said
By the start of the relay on Saturday afternoon, more than $53,000 had been banked.
"We're hoping to achieve $85,000 (at the conclusion of fundraising which lasts for another 30 days)," Angela said.
"The community here really came together to unite and support the cause."
It was a festive atmosphere at Chanel College oval for the relay.
A brass band played and competing teams dressed up in kooky outfits for the 18-hour relay-style event.
There was a team of ducks, one of fairies, teams dressed in their winter PJs and even Olaf the Snowman from the film Frozen made a show.
All funds raised will help the Cancer Council to support people affected by cancer and to fund research and improve cancer prevention.
Melissa said she was more than happy to support the Cancer Council to find better treatments.
"The current treatment is very hard, it would be nice if there was a better option," she said.
While she's hopeful that her cancer won't return, Melissa said the experience had helped her appreciate things more.
"Sunsets; I never really appreciated how amazing sunsets are," she said.