Emily White does not have to look far to see a reason to help fight cancer.
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All she has to do is look at her left arm.
This year’s Shoalhaven Nowra Relay for Life ambassador was a tattoo on her arm to honour her grandmother Christine Turner.
It features the words ‘be proud love grumps’.
Cancer took Mrs Turner from her family in 2010 and Emily has always supported relay for life.
She even wrote a song “Beautiful Lady” for her grandmother which she performed at a relay.
She used to affectionately call her grandmother “Grumpy Gran”.
“She used to write me letters when I was a little girl and I found this one once and it said ‘be proud, love Grumps’ and I thought that is beautiful,” Emily said.
“The tattoo is something special to have and I can always see it. I got it during my HSC last last year and it was always good to look down and it kept me going.
“I also got it when dad (Chalike White) was really sick and he got upset, happy upset, when he saw it.”
Her dad Chalkie, who is overcoming cancer, is sharing the ambassador role with her.
She used to write me letters when I was a little girl and I found this one once and it said ‘be proud, love Grumps’ and I thought that is beautiful.- Emily White
They will be start the relay off at the opening ceremony, and they will share their story at the Ceremony of Hope and also perform a few songs.
The Shoalhaven Nowra Relay for Life, a Cancer Council event, will be held from Saturday, March 24 to Sunday, March 25 at the Nowra Showground and people are urged to support the event.
Emily is happy her dad was not going to let cancer beat him.
“He was always positive through everything – through the whole treatment and that is what kept him going,” she said
She was preparing to sit for the HSC last year when the news came that her dad had been diagnosed with two forms of lymphoma.
“I was just all bombarded and it was pretty upsetting because I know the effect of cancer because of how many people in my family have had it ” she said
Emily said about eight people, that she knows of, in her family have all faced cancer.
She is a Shoalhaven Relay for Life veteran.
“I have been part of the relay because cancer has been a major part of my life – it has played a big role,” she said.
“I just want to be part of the fundraising, solutions, research and the cure.”
She said it was “pretty scary” to think how cancer has been part of her life for so many years and yet she is so young.
The 18-year-old would like more young people to start the relay for life.
“I reckon that cancer pretty much affects everyone’s lives in some way and I just think the younger generation needs to get involved in the cause,” she said.
I have fun at the relay – I just love it.- Emily White
She said cancer was an evil disease and relay of life was a great community way of fighting it.
“I have fun at the relay – I just love it,” the young ambassador said.
She loves spending time with her family and friends talking, singing and supporting each other.
“It’s good because you see everyone looking so happy,” she said.
“We all come together which is good to see.”
Emily is a member of the Gran Nan and the Booby Gang team.
Go to www.cancercouncil.com.au/event/relay-for-life-shoalhaven-nowra-201 to sign up amd get more information.
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