Teams will run for 24 hours to raise money for cancer

A 24-HOUR relay race will take place this weekend to raise money for cancer.

Thursday, 13th July 2017, 7:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:28 am

The Portsmouth Relay for Life aims to raise cash for Cancer Research UK.

Families and cancer survivors team up to take part in a relay race that starts at midday on Saturday and finishes midday on Sunday.

Donna Stephens, 42, and her family have taken part in the event for five years with the Fareham Crusaders.

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She is taking part again after Donna’s husband, Paul, was diagnosed with bladder cancer.

Donna said: ‘We’ve always supported cancer research but it’s especially important to us this year as my husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer in September 2016 and is currently in the middle of his treatment.

‘There are a lot of survivors taking part.

‘They open the relay and close it with an opening and closing lap. They are the guests of honour all weekend.’

Across the weekend, there are football tournaments, a silent disco and tug of war competitions as well as special cream tea for all the cancer survivors.

The event is themed each year with 2012 having an Olympic style and last year’s theme celebrated the event’s 21st birthday.

This year’s theme is Christmas, with teams being encouraged to wear festive jumpers five months early.

Last year, the event raised over £80,000 for the charity.

Donna added: ‘As a family we have raised £1085 this year.

‘We did a charity BBQ and a quiz night.

‘It is one of those events that is fun and emotional.

‘Every year I have done it and I have laughed and I have cried.’

Relay laps also have themes, with pyjamas and underwear proving to be a particular crowd favourite.

Jayne Bowman is relay chair for the event.

She said: ‘We are very fortunate to have nearly 80 survivors.

‘Our youngest survivor is four years old.

‘I think the event gets the point across that cancer is not the be-all and end-all anymore and there is hope to celebrate more birthdays.’

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