£66,000 raised at Relay for Life

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THEY beat off cancer and now survivors of the disease have helped raise thousands of pounds for charity by taking part in the Relay for Life.

The event, which took place at the Mountbatten Centre, sees teams take it in turns to walk round the track for 24 hours in aid of Cancer Research UK.

: Cancer survivors start the Relay For Life with the first lap.''Picture: Sarah Standing (142073-6789)

: Cancer survivors start the Relay For Life with the first lap.''Picture: Sarah Standing (142073-6789)

More than 400 people took part in the event, raising more than £66,000.

At the start, survivors were applauded as they took part in a lap of honour and a candlelit vigil took place on Saturday evening.

Jean Gamblin, 62, from Titchfield Lane in Wickham, survived breast cancer.

She said: ‘I think none of us as survivors think we are anybody special but when you do that survivors’ lap and everybody is applauding, you realise how wonderful it is to be a survivor.

12/7/2014 (RS)''The Portsmouth Relay For Life started on Saturday at The Mountbatten Centre.''Pictured is: Maxine Kirk (48) chairman of the Portsmouth Relay For Life and cancer survivor, walking around the track.''Picture: Sarah Standing (142073-3118) PPP-140713-101223001

12/7/2014 (RS)''The Portsmouth Relay For Life started on Saturday at The Mountbatten Centre.''Pictured is: Maxine Kirk (48) chairman of the Portsmouth Relay For Life and cancer survivor, walking around the track.''Picture: Sarah Standing (142073-3118) PPP-140713-101223001

‘It’s been such a lovely family atmosphere.’

Ann Stoyles, 55, from Privett Road in Gosport, also beat breast cancer. She said: ‘It’s been absolutely amazing. Everybody in my team has been touched by cancer in one way or another.’

Max Kirk, chairwoman of the Portsmouth Relay for Life, said: ‘It’s been absolutely fabulous. We’ve had an amazing time.

‘It’s the most amazing way to spend 24 hours. It’s a community event, you start together and you finish together. To see that many survivors just proves to you why you do what you do throughout the year.’

12/7/2014 (RS)''The Portsmouth Relay For Life started on Saturday at The Mountbatten Centre.''Pictured is: (l-r) Clare Johns (44) and Helen Page (40) dressed as Oompa Loompa's, part of Maureen's Miracles team in memory of Maureen Hood who passed away in 2013.''Picture: Sarah Standing (142073-3165) PPP-140713-101531001

12/7/2014 (RS)''The Portsmouth Relay For Life started on Saturday at The Mountbatten Centre.''Pictured is: (l-r) Clare Johns (44) and Helen Page (40) dressed as Oompa Loompa's, part of Maureen's Miracles team in memory of Maureen Hood who passed away in 2013.''Picture: Sarah Standing (142073-3165) PPP-140713-101531001

Graham Cutter, 35, was team captain for the Alverstoke Junior School team.

He said: ‘For us, we really wanted to involve the school community as well. We have had families of children at the school who have been supporting us with donations.

‘We have loved it. It’s been a real mixture of emotions.

‘For some of us, it’s very current and very raw. It’s been fantastic to have been a part of the whole event.’

12/7/2014 (RS)''The Portsmouth Relay For Life started on Saturday at The Mountbatten Centre.''Pictured is: The Pink Ladies (back l-r) Elaine Sharkey (51), Hazel Branson (53), Ann Stoyles (55) and Nicola Stoyles (23) with (front l-r) Corinne Stoyles (27), Giorgia Sharkey (11) and Julie Aitchison (53).''Picture: Sarah Standing (142073-3182) PPP-140713-101744001

12/7/2014 (RS)''The Portsmouth Relay For Life started on Saturday at The Mountbatten Centre.''Pictured is: The Pink Ladies (back l-r) Elaine Sharkey (51), Hazel Branson (53), Ann Stoyles (55) and Nicola Stoyles (23) with (front l-r) Corinne Stoyles (27), Giorgia Sharkey (11) and Julie Aitchison (53).''Picture: Sarah Standing (142073-3182) PPP-140713-101744001

12/7/2014 (RS)''The Portsmouth Relay For Life started on Saturday at The Mountbatten Centre.''Pictured is: Coral Timson (20) from Hayling Island, pushing Hope Farren (12) from Portsmouth, around the track for Relay For Life.''Picture: Sarah Standing (142073-3371) PPP-140713-101841001

12/7/2014 (RS)''The Portsmouth Relay For Life started on Saturday at The Mountbatten Centre.''Pictured is: Coral Timson (20) from Hayling Island, pushing Hope Farren (12) from Portsmouth, around the track for Relay For Life.''Picture: Sarah Standing (142073-3371) PPP-140713-101841001