Taranaki Cancer Society's 2018 Relay for Life is on this coming Saturday, March 24.

An event for people of all ages and fitness levels — gather your friends, family, work colleagues, and register your team now.

The funds raised go straight back into the Taranaki community, helping people like Lila Gonzalez.

Colombian born, New Plymouth resident of 19 years, Lila Gonzalez, was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma, in February 2017. Lila has nothing but praise and thanks for the work of the Cancer Society and hopes more people get involved with fundraising through Relay for Life.


"My family and I received so much support from the Cancer Society. The team go above and beyond, nothing was ever too hard.

My treatment took place in Palmerston North which could have been difficult as we had no house or family there. Instead, my husband was offered a place at Ozanam House — a home where relatives of out-of-town patients could stay. Everything was taken care of, it was peace of mind when we had so many other things on our minds. The society was incredibly generous."

Money raised at Relay for Life also helps fund support services offered by the Cancer Society's Taranaki Centre to local family and friends of cancer patients, recognising the commitment and effort caregivers make to be the cornerstone for their loved one.

Lila says her journey with cancer was made better by the amazing support and care from her family.

"My husband Chris has been so incredible. When you are married you take all of that person, we promised to love each other in sickness and in health. Our lives changed so much and he has been by my side the whole time. I'm now in remission and he still comes to all of my appointments."

Lila has walked or rather 'danced' Zumba style, in the Taranaki Relay for Life for over eight years, only missing last year due to treatment.

"I was asked to name our team five years ago, so I chose Team Azucar, meaning 'sugar' in Spanish. I wanted it to be a little bit sweet. Zumba will be at Relay for Life again this year and I will be right there in the front row!"

Relay for Life is an inspiring community event that gives everyone a chance to celebrate cancer survivors and carers; remember loved ones lost to cancer; and fight back by raising awareness and funds to support the work of Cancer Society in Taranaki.

Worldwide, more than 5 million people take part in a Relay for Life event every year with more than 600 teams already registered across New Zealand.

The relay runs from 10.30am-10.30pm at the Pukekura Function Centre. Registration is $200 per team of 10, includes T-shirts, entertainment, ceremonies and lunch.

More information about the 2018 Relay for Life can be found on the Cancer Society website: www.relayforlife.org.nz.