CANCER survivor Donna Walsh is the perfect ambassador for the Shoalhaven Nowra Relay for Life because of her sense of humour and positive attitude.
“I am the pin-up chick for cancer,” Mrs Walsh said.
Don’t let Mrs Walsh’s black humour fool you – she feels strongly about helping other cancer sufferers and will promote the relay in any way she can.
“My heart breaks when I hear about other people being diagnosed with breast cancer,” she said.
She described the condition and the chemotherapy she underwent to treat it as disgusting and a living hell.
The Culburra Beach resident did not hesitate when asked to be ambassador, despite not knowing what the role entailed.
“I decided this was the year to give something back,” she said.
She will share the role with deputy mayor John Wells.
Mrs Walsh was introduced to the Relay for Life by her son Layton, who was nine at the time.
Not long after Mrs Walsh was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011 Layton came home from school on a mission.
He knew his mother had cancer and bounded home from Nowra Christian School one day and said, “We have to enter the Relay for Life.”
“He wanted to take part in the relay because he knew it would help Mum,” she said.
Mrs Walsh was very sick, recovering from surgery and battling an infection, at the 2011 relay but proudly watched
as Layton walked around the Nowra Showground with his team.
Last year she was able to join the other survivors for what proved to be an emotional first lap.
“I was all pumped and ready to do the first lap,” she said.
“I was asked who my carers were by one of the organisers and I told her my carers were my three children and my partner.
“I started to cry when they were all given carer sashes.”
Her children Layton, 11, Jonathan, 8, and Tamsin, 4, and partner Grant joined Mrs Walsh for the first lap.
She loves the community feel and the fact that the Shoalhaven Relay for Life is a proven fundraiser.
In one afternoon alone Layton collected $150 for the relay, knocking on doors around his neighbourhood.
Mrs Walsh urged people to take part in the relay.
The 24-hour event will be held at the Nowra Showground on Saturday, April 6.
To register a team, go to www.relay.cancercouncil.com.au and follow the links to the Shoalhaven Nowra relay or attend the team information night on Tuesday, January 22 at the Nowra Showground committee room from 7pm.