Waipukurau's Joy Eagle, a cancer survivor, has attended Relay for Life for the past eight years.

This year would have been her ninth, but the event was cancelled after low numbers of entries made it non-viable.

For Eagle the Hawke's Bay event cancellation is deeply disappointing.

"I attended relay to prove I was a survivor.

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"I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010. I attended (relay) every year with my husband (since the diagnosis)."

Her disappointment also arises from missing out on the camaraderie from fellow survivors.

"I forged friendships (which continued) outside of relay with fellow survivors. We would just turn up and do the walk for survivors.

"I am disappointed because you don't meet many people otherwise.

"When I first went through it I didn't even realise how many people go through cancer. But now I have been through it I know heaps."

This year was meant to be the 15th year of Relay for Life in Hawke's Bay on March 23, and it was cancelled due to low team registrations and fundraising to date.

However, the Cancer Society's Hawke's Bay centre has not taken the event cancellation lightly.

Manager Trudy Kirk said the cancellation of Relay for Life this year had been heart wrenching for the Hawke's Bay Cancer Society team.

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"We know how important the event is for many in our community. In particular our cancer survivors, who open Relay for Life by walking the first lap on the track, called the Lap of Honour.

"Also those teams that enter because they have someone in their team who has either lost a loved one or knows someone going through cancer treatment.

"Relay for Life means a lot to the Cancer Society Hawke's Bay team and we will find a way forward for the event in the future."

She added that there were other Relay for Life events interested people could attend.

"There are Relay For Life events happening in Gisborne, Palmerston North and Whanganui in March and those who wish to attend relay in any of those areas next month will be made very welcome.

"Contact our centre 06 876 7638, we can give you the date of those events and a contact."