FUN CREW: Members from the Lismore and Villages Relay for Life Committee hit the streets of Lismore for Purple and Yellow Day. They are, Don Campbell, front, and from left, Abby Wallace, Ron Dowell, Trevor Pethers, Joey Poole, Marie Cook, Casey Curtis, and Heidi Ruttley.
FUN CREW: Members from the Lismore and Villages Relay for Life Committee hit the streets of Lismore for Purple and Yellow Day. They are, Don Campbell, front, and from left, Abby Wallace, Ron Dowell, Trevor Pethers, Joey Poole, Marie Cook, Casey Curtis, and Heidi Ruttley. Cathy Adams

Cancer stories are personal for volunteers

MANY of the purple and yellow day Cancer Council volunteers have a story to tell.

For East Lismore resident Don Campbell, it's about his wife, Margaret, who was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago.

"Cancer is very close to our family," he said.

"My three daughters have been checked, because of my wife having cancer."

For over a decade, Mr Campbell has been involved with the Lismore and Villages Relay for Life, helping to raise funds and awareness.

Fellow volunteer Ron Dowell, husband of Lismore Mayor Jenny Dowell, has a similar story.

"When Jenny was diagnosed two days after her election as mayor with breast cancer, we were devastated of course," he said.

"But when Relay For Life came up, I jumped on the committee and I've been on the committee for six years."

He said it was important to get the message out through initiatives like purple and yellow day, so money raised during the Relay for Life could be used for research and to help reduce the death toll and incident rates.

"I think it's important for the community because it was only yesterday that it was announced that cancer was the biggest killer in Australia of any disease," he said.

"It now surpasses heart disease."

Cancer causes

The causes of two-thirds of cancer deaths are still unknown, however the following risk factors have been directly attributed to the remaining third:

  • Tobacco smoke
  • Obesity and its main cause (poor nutrition and inactivity)
  • UV radiation
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Exposure to carcinogens such as asbestos

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