Relay for Life stars gather for Survivors and Carers picnic

SURVIVORS: Jemma Selwood, Judy Cook and Leanne Cheney are three generations of survivors Photo: JUDE KEOGH: 0303jkcarers1
SURVIVORS: Jemma Selwood, Judy Cook and Leanne Cheney are three generations of survivors Photo: JUDE KEOGH: 0303jkcarers1

Jemma Selwood and Leanne Cheney have lived the turmoil of losing a loved one to cancer.

In May 2015, Mrs Selwood’s father and Mrs Cheney’s husband, Jordan Cheney lost his two year fight with the disease.

“People tell me that I look good – that I’m doing well – you can’t just sit in a dark room crying though,” said Mrs Cheney.

“You have to get up and keep going, when Jordan was alive I’d stayed at home looking after the kids – I had to rejoin the workforce.”

The mother and daughter duo are joining Relay for Life as Jordy’s Joggers and Sloggers team – a tribute to Mr Cheney’s love of marathons.

Relay For Life is a fundraiser for the Cancer Council, with teams of people all over Australia fundraising ahead of a relay-style overnight walk or run.

This year, Mrs Selwood is volunteering her time to support a group of survivors and carers who will take part in the initial two laps and a morning tea at Orange’s Relay For Life.

On March 10, survivors and carers – as well as other Relay For Life participants – are invited to bring their lunch to Cook Park at 12pm for the group’s initial introduction.

The informal event is designed to provide opportunities for survivors and carers to meet each other, meet the committee, and create new friendships.

“My reason for joining the relay committee as the survivors and carers coordinator is because I know how easy it is to feel lost along the journey,” Mrs Selwood said.

Mrs Selwood said it is her goal to ensure that no one feels this sense of loneliness.

“It is important to me that everyone knows they have support, no matter their experiences with cancer.”

Prior to her husband’s diagnosis, Mrs Cheney was primary carer to her mother, who has also battled cancer.

“Back then I didn’t know anyone in a similar situation,” she said.

“Somedays I feel really good and sometimes I feel really blue – it’ll be good to meet other carers who understand that.”

Mrs Selwood said those wishing to attend the picnic on Saturday are welcome to show up, however, for future Survivors and Carers events – such as High Tea at the Ex-Services Club on April 27 – registration is required through Relay for Life’s website.

Relay for Life is taking place at the Orange Showground May 4-5. To register:


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