‘Relay for Life’ has been running for the past three years. Their message is ‘We Won’t Give Up Until Cancer Does’ and their aim is to raise awareness about cancer and give people support.
On the day, the event has different coloured t-shirts. The Committee Members wear bright orange so if anyone needs help or information you can find them straight away. The survivors are given a purple t-shirt as purple is the colour for Hope. The teams are given white t-shirts and volunteers wear bright yellow. This leads to a wonderful splash of colour on the day.
‘Relay for Life’ creates such a sense of community. The amount of people that get involved is unbelievable, it spreads out like a spider’s web, with layers of layers of people wanting to help. In 2017 there were approximately 4,000 people at the event.
To be given the diagnoses of having cancer, your whole life changes and no one knows what’s ahead of them. It two-fold, it effects both the person who has cancer and their family. Its scary, your vulnerable and don’t know what lies ahead. Because of this, Gay Murphy decided to create awareness. She was blown away by how ‘Relay for Life’ has gone from strength to strength. Finances are important, but it is not their main aim. They focus on the event and the money will follow.
The candle of hope ceremony is the highlight of the event for a lot of people. There are candle bags right around both sides of the track. Each candle bag represents a person that somebody has lost to cancer. It’s the most, emotional, supportive, joyous event that anyone could ever imagine and takes place on the night in Páirc Charman, Wexford.
Alan acknowledged a very worthy Gay Murphy by presenting her with the May South East Radio/ Talbot Hotel Outstanding Achievement Award. She is a credit to herself, her family and her friends. There was a sea of orange t-shirts in the South East Radio studio to surprise and share in Gays celebration. Gay said she does not do any of this work for herself, its all for others. She is the ultimate superwoman and an advocate for ‘Relay for Life’. People who have survived, are celebrated, those who are lost are remembered and the community comes together to fight back against this awful disease. The proceeds go to Cancer Research and fund the services provided by the wonderful Irish Cancer Society. In the first year they raised approximately €22,000 and in year two €55,000 was raised. This years total has still to be confirmed.
Here is a poem dedicated to Gay from Sam, who looks after the Relay for Life volunteers:-
The word Inspiration brings so much to mind,
Like loving and humble, gentle and kind.
People look to the famous to be guided and thought,
But mines closer to home and available when sought.
With the humility of Gandhi and Mandela’s strength,
The charisma of Kennedy, will go to any length.
To achieve every goal and objective that’s set,
To conquer adversity, she’ll fight to the death.
So focused on others, not a minute to spare,
Between meetings and family has a hugh heart to care.
With Fiona and Owen and Paddy alongside,
Whatever she’s faced with, she takes in her stride.
So my inspiration is Gay Murphy, or Power,
But there’s no puns tonight from this Rely Shower.
You are selfless and giving, not least with your time,
And I couldn’t be prouder to say, ‘You’re a great friend of mine’.
So from the Committee, Volunteers and the Teams,
We are so proud to know you, so are others it seem.
We are so glad you have been chosen to honour tonight
And long may you continue to remember, celebrate and fight.