BEATING IT: Cancer survivors Brad Willard and Kelsey Burt with team mate Josh Clare walk during the Warwick Relay for Life held at the weekend.
BEATING IT: Cancer survivors Brad Willard and Kelsey Burt with team mate Josh Clare walk during the Warwick Relay for Life held at the weekend. Michael Cormack

An issue close to people’s hearts

IMAGINE being 28 years old with a two-year-old son and being told you have testicular cancer.

For New South Welshman Brad Willard, it was a reality.

"All these scenarios about my wife and my son were popping up in my head about what if I didn't make it," Brad said. "That was really tough to deal with."

It is the reason why Brad took part in the Warwick Relay for Life on the weekend, travelling from Blacktown in Sydney to attend.

"I've been doing Relay for Life for seven years in Sydney," he said.

"It's really good to see some of the ideas up here and I'll definitely take some back with me."

Indeed Brad was not the only member of his team, Get Smurfed, to have dealt with cancer.

Kelsey Burt (leukemia) and Rhianna Kruger (ewings sarcoma) also took part in the relay to show their support for current patients.

"For me, I always say I might not be the brightest but I can raise some money for those who are bright enough to be able to search for a cure," Brad said.

"On top of that I just want to raise awareness. I had a late diagnosis because of my lack of education.

"I want others to be aware because the sooner you can catch it, the better chance of survival you have."

Kelsey said it was great that Relay for Life supported patients with any type of cancer.

"It's really good that Relay for Life provides awareness and support for all different types of cancer," Kelsey said.

"They all need support.

"When you're going through cancer you know you're not the only person who has it but it's still nice to hear other people's stories.

"It helps to know there are other people out there."

Kelsey said she was hopeful the relay would continue to grow.

"This year has smashed last year so hopefully it can continue to get bigger and better," she said.

"It's amazing to see such a small town come together like this."



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