Daughter in Relay for Life for cancer survivor mum

By Hannah Norton

Ivy Wade is a survivor.

A year ago, she had her lymph nodes removed, after cancer travelled from a melanoma on her lower back. That's not been her only melanoma - she's had five.

The cancer in her lymph nodes was discovered when one of her breasts was removed in 2010 due to breast cancer. But she's alive and in remission - and that's what she'll be celebrating at this year's Relay for Life.

``To see all the people at Relay - you realise that you are one of the lucky ones,'' she said.

Relay for Life is a annual team 24 hour memorial walk to raise funds for the Cancer Society.

Last year, Ivy and her daughter, Chrissie Bradley, walked the first lap _ called the survivor's lap _ together, which Chrissie described as ``just so wonderful _ exciting and vibrant''.

``It's the courage of the event - it's a real togetherness,'' Ivy explained.

``Some people came with their zimmerframes and did it.''

``To me, it's something really, really worthwhile. I don't cry for me I cry for everyone else.''

``But there's not one person down there saying `poor me'.''

This year, Ivy plans to also walk the last lap, and Chrissie has entered a team into the event called Kauri Kruzers, comprising fellow workmates and one parent from Kaurihohore Primary School.

It's Chrissie's tribute to her mother's courage, she said. ``She fought it [the cancer] the whole way through.''

Ivy was the first in the family to get cancer. ``But I managed to get the entire family's share,'' Ivy said.

It will also be a tribute in memory of Chrissie's good friend, 32-year-old Jaime Taylor, who passed away less than a month ago from breast cancer.

``The courage that girl had was amazing, really amazing,'' Ivy said.

Both Ivy and the Kauri Kruzers will be sure to don their hats during the daylight hours of the walk.

``I've had a total of five melanoma now and I definitely put it down to sun exposure - we just weren't aware of wearing hats and sunblock in my time,'' Ivy said. ``And the worst thing is that melanoma can spread - it turns into a traveller cancer,'' she said.

She wants to participate in the Relay to also raise awareness of sun protection.

``Always wear your hats and sunscreen.''

- Northern Advocate

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