SURVIVOR: Patricia Wiggins, face of the Moranbah Relay For Life.
SURVIVOR: Patricia Wiggins, face of the Moranbah Relay For Life.

Cancer survivor face of Relay for Life

BEFORE Moranbah local Patricia Wiggins was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2017, she wasn’t showing any obvious symptoms.

It wasn’t until her doctor noticed her iron levels were dangerously low, and all efforts to normalise it had failed.

After a trip to Mackay for a gastroscopy and colonoscopy, Patricia was told there were two cancer growths on her colon.

Ms Wiggins said the diagnosis was tough on herself and her family.

“I broke down emotionally when I was telling my kids, and they were just as upset. All I could think was there was a chance I might not be around to see my grandchildren grow up,” she said.

“Two weeks after the diagnosis, I flew down to Brisbane and had the cancers removed. Other than the regular check-ups, I am extremely lucky to have had the cancer shut down before something worse happened.

“The diagnosis was a major wake up call. Although my tests continue to come back clear, it’s always in the back of my mind that the cancer may return, and I may not be as lucky next time.

“I have also since discovered that my family has a very strong history with cancer, in which 13 members of family have been diagnosed, including my birth mother, maternal grandmother, and older sister who have all passed away due to cancer.”

Ms Wiggins said her experience has motivated her to help raise funds for Cancer Council Queensland and she is proud to be the Face of the 2019 Moranbah Relay For Life, held on October 26 — 27 at Darryl Bourke Oval.

“I am still here today because of the advancements in cancer research and treatment methods,” she said.

“Funds raised from events like Relay For Life goes a long way towards not only helping to raise the necessary funds for cancer research, it also helps educate people on the need to get regular checks, and about the fantastic support services Cancer Council Queensland offers.

“If you have been diagnosed with cancer or you’re a carer for someone who has cancer, then you’re not alone, and I encourage you to come along to the Moranbah Relay For Life and join me in the Survivors and Carers Walk.”

Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan said the charity was proud to have Ms Wiggins as the Face of the 2019 Moranbah Relay For Life.

“Patricia is passionate about raising vital funds to support locals who have been affected by cancer — that is what Relay For Life is all about,” Ms McMillan said.

“By joining Patricia at Moranbah Relay For Life, you will give hope to all Queenslanders affected by cancer and help us get one step closer to a cancer free future.

“Relay is an event for anyone, no matter their age or ability, who is inspired to fight back against cancer and make a difference in their local community.

“Together, we are stronger than cancer — join Moranbah Relay For Life today.”

Early bird registration for the Moranbah Relay For Life is $30 for adults and $15 for youths until October 18. Registration during the week of Relay, or on the day, is $40 for adults and $20 for youths.

To register a team, volunteer, or find out more, 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 13 11 20.