Face of Relay Marlene Armstrong and Relay For Life supporter Toni Woodward
Face of Relay Marlene Armstrong and Relay For Life supporter Toni Woodward

Heartbreaking reason Marlene picked as Relay face

WHEN Marlene Armstrong lost her partner to cancer seventeen years ago, she started looking for a way to give back.

Since then, the Ipswich woman has volunteered for Cancer Council Queensland, to help locals affected by the disease and fundraise for a cancer free future.

After losing her partner, being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last year herself was the last thing she expected.

"I started losing weight very rapidly, so my GP recommend a CT scan, which discovered the cancer in my pancreas," Marlene said.

"I had my spleen, half my pancreas and 19 lymph nodes removed - two of which had cancer in them as well.

"I then underwent six months of chemotherapy, became an insulin-dependent diabetic due to the damage of the pancreas, and have to take tablets to aid my digestion."

Sadly, Marlene has recently found out the cancer has returned - this time in her lung and stomach.

"I am just waiting now to see what the next step is, whether I undergo some more chemo or do radiation this time - I have been told the cancer is treatable, but not curable," she said.

"I just have to take my journey as it comes. I can still take care of myself and do the things I enjoy."

In recognition of Marlene's positive attitude and spirit, she has been named as the Face of Relay for Cancer Council Queensland's 2018 Ipswich Relay For Life, held May 26-27 at Bill Paterson Oval.

"Some of the more common cancers get a lot of attention, but there's a lot of cancers out there, like pancreatic cancer, that don't have as much," Marlene said.

"That's one the reason I accepted the role of Face, so I can raise awareness for lesser known cancers, so we can raise more funds to improve survival rates.

"There's also a really great atmosphere at Relay For Life, where everyone is united as one, so I am really looking forward to having as much fun as I can."

Relay For Life is a community fundraising challenge for Cancer Council.

Teams raise money in the lead up to an overnight event, where team members then take turns walking around a track to signify that cancer never sleeps.

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan encouraged locals to join Ms Armstrong at Ipswich Relay For Life.

"Relay For life is more than just a fundraiser - it's an emotional, empowering event for a great cause, with people ensuring cancer patients are not alone," Ms McMillan said.

"Every dollar raised, and every step taken supports our vital work in cancer research, prevention and support - if you are passionate about these things, and want to ensure cancer has no future, join the Relay movement today!"

To register a team for Ipswich Relay For Life, visit www.relayforlife.org.au or call 1300 65 65 85.

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via www.cancerqld.org.au or call 13 11 20.

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