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Relay for Life, Harrow: 'We want to celebrate, remember and fight cancer'
Hundreds clubbed together to send the bold message that “cancer never sleeps” at a family fun day.
Bannister Sports Centre, Uxbridge Road, Harrow, was bathed in sunshine at the Relay for Life event, at which children and adults ran laps across the field to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
For 21 hours, teams took it in turns to run the 800m track and between them have so far raised more than £30,000.
The first run of the day was the survivors' lap, for people who have beaten the disease.
During the last lap, runners carried glowsticks and ran in silence to honour those who have died of the disease.
Kayleigh Cookson, 21, a committee member for Relay for Life Harrow, said: “The point of this going on all night is to show people that cancer never sleeps.
“It’s about celebrating, remembering and fighting back.
“It’s been a fantastic day so far and obviously, the sunshine helps. Events like this bring the community together so it’s a great opportunity to raise awareness about cancer.”
Many dressed in quirky outfits during the runs - including fruit and vegetables - and others bounced across the track on space hoppers.
Kunji Patel, of Rayners Lane, was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2004 and after two years of chemotherapy and complications from treatment, she is still waiting for the all clear.
Since Relay for Life began in 2007, her and her friends have been entering the race every year to show their support under the team name Pranasha.
She said: “It’s been a challenge and it hasn’t been easy, but events like this show you you’re not alone.
“It also gives you the chance to make new friends as well as raising cash for a brilliant cause.
“I loved the survivors lap. It was so emotional and moving - everyone hugs and cries, it’s just an amazing atmosphere.”
Grandfather-of-five Tony Selman, 72, was diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago.
He said: “Events like this show you the work Cancer Research UK do really works. It’s important we continue to support them and events like this are always a roaring success.”
The event featured rides for children, a fire engine, bouncy castles as well as a healthy living tent, massage area and henna artists.
Children also clubbed together to do their bit and raise awareness about the disease.
Danielle Scott, nine, said: “If we continue to support events like this, we might help save someone’s life. We should keep trying to fight cancer.”
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