Walking towards a cancer-free future
HOPE will beam from the Dalby Showground this weekend as hundreds of locals join the fight against cancer at the Dalby Relay for Life.
More than 280 participants across 28 teams will walk for 18 hours in a relay-style walk or run to show support to locals affected by cancer and work towards a cure.
As the Face of Relay for 2019, Carmen Duvel will be a beacon of hope for those affected by cancer as she shares her own cancer journey with the masses.
"Having hope to overcome such an awful disease is something you hold on to the whole time,” she said.
"When you hear those words, it's not something you want to hear but hoping you will get through it and having hope for other people is probably one of the most important things to get through it without it destroying you.”
Diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at 18 years of age, Miss Duvel is preparing to share her story publicly for the first time at the relay.
"I never thought I would be able to do it so this is a very big step I've been able to take and hopefully I can share my story confidently,” she said.
Miss Duvel hopes in sharing her story she will encourage people to be more in tune with their bodies.
"I've always wanted to share my story and get people really familiar with the importance of knowing your body and responding to it if you know there's something not right, and this was the perfect opportunity to raise a little bit more awareness and talk about a positive story and a positive outcome from such a negative thing,” she said.
Miss Duvel was overwhelmed by the community's support for the relay and said it was quite moving to see them band together against the disease.
This year's teams have already raised more than $20,000 for Cancer Council in the lead-up to the event, a massive feat for a small community.
"It's amazing - every little cent counts,” Miss Duvel said.
The fundraising efforts will continue over the weekend, with hopes to raise an extra $10,000 for Cancer Council by Sunday.
The teams will continue fundraising at the showground and O'Sheas Windsor Hotel will be doing a raffle over the weekend, with all profits going towards the Relay for Life.
Opening ceremony with survivors and carers walk: 3pm tomorrow
Candlelight ceremony: 7pm tomorrow
Closing ceremony: 9am Sunday.