This year, 170 people will tap into services provided by the cancer society in the Whanganui, Rangitikei and Waimarino region.

From providing information to emotional support and transport the organisation is behind people living with cancer.

And a huge amount of the money to pay for that comes from the annual Relay For Life, which is being held around the country and locally at Cooks Gardens this weekend.

Doing the relay for the first time is a woman who has benefited from a range of the Cancer Society's services over the past 18 months. Paula Hingley was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2014 and was almost immediately put in touch with the Cancer Society.

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"(Without it) I would've had a lack of knowledge. I had no one close to me that had had cancer. The information that I could get was absolutely brilliant, especially the books."

Massage sessions, a telephone service with others who have had cancer, transport, counselling and information pamphlets are some of the services aimed at helping people through cancer.

"I think it's that no obligation thing. Even if it is to take the information pamphlet away. Even if you glance at it then have to put it away, in the future you may pick it up again."

Support co-ordinator Yvonne Cuthbertson said people used as many or as few of the services as they wanted. "I was just impressed with how Paula picked up everything and ran with it. All of our support services, she just took it on board."

Wanganui Cancer Society centre manager Simon Aitken said it was hoped $100,000 would be raised for the region at this year's Relay For Life. More than 600 team members will be walking the track in the 24-hour event. There will be entertainment on-site as well as a remembrance ceremony in the evening. Entertainment includes the Wanganui Brass Band and the Lone Piper.