Last year Legana’s Belinda Williams was not sure she could even finish the Cancer Council Tasmania Women’s five kilometre walk or run event in Launceston.
While she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer, a group of her family and close friends from St John's Anglican Church got together to do the event as a team.
“I could only walk it last year, whereas this year I was determined to run it,” Ms Williams said.
“Last year I was going through the treatment myself, but with friends around me and my family we walked it.”
Friend Bronwyn McKee said she walked behind Ms Williams last year, ready in case something went wrong.
This year Ms McKee could barely keep up the pace.
“Just being around people that are having cancer treatment of chemotherapy, its a very isolating experience, and having a community event helps bring awareness about what that is like,” Ms McKee said.
“We are here to support each other and people through the journey of cancer.”
The rest of the field begins to arrive back at the finish line. pic.twitter.com/CJ4p9tIypU— Holly Monery (@holly_monery) September 17, 2017
Ms Williams said cancer had touched everyone in the group who took part in the event.
“I come from a family that has been affected terribly by cancer, my father passed away from pancreatic cancer, my sister passed away from ovarian cancer at 42, so I’m here with my two nieces, and two years after my sister passed away I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” she said.
“It’s very difficult as an individual but it’s a very individual experience, but having that community around me which I had was so wonderful and coming to these events was so uplifting because we are all focused on just wanting to live life to the full.”
The group also started the run with Ms McKee’s son Sam but the 12-year-old was determined to challenge himself, coming second overall behind professional triathlete Kate Pedley.
“He does Park Run and various five kilometre runs and I think that might have been a personal best for him,” Ms McKee said.
About 1800 people took part in the major fundrasing event on Sunday, with every dollar raised to stay in Tasmania.
Event organiser Sheila Tivan there had been overwhelming support from the crowd and all of Launceston.
“We were hoping to hit over 1000 people and we had just under 1800 entrants and then all of the spectators ... we have an amazing community and we all support each other,” she said.
“The event raises funds for all of our cancer support programs.
“We have a transport to treatment program, we also have programs in place if people need bills paid and we can help them and we also do grants and scholarships.”