Teams of hope bring Wexford to life
It was a weekend full of hope and reflection in Pairc Charman as huge crowds of people gathered for an emotional 24 hours in Wexford's first Relay for Life.
Organised in celebration of cancer survivors and in memory of those who have been lost, the event saw 18 teams walk through light and darkness while hundreds of supporters cheered them on from the sidelines. The walkers included over 70 survivors, who wore purple tshirts to signify hope in the face of the illness. These survivors also joined together to take part in a survivors lap around the pitch and enjoyed a special meal in the marquee.
When darkness fell, the place was lit up to honour those touched by cancer as participants walked a lap of silence in candlelight. This emotional moment saw people from across the county descend on Pairc Charman to remember those who they have lost to the disease.
Chairperson of the Relay for Life Committee and cancer survivor Gay Murphy said that the weekend was 'absolutely fantastic.'
'It was very very powerful. It was a weekend full of emotions,' she said. 'For me, this was never just about a fundraiser. It was intended to be a big community event that will bring people together for support, achievement and inspiration. The feedback has been incredible.'
Gay said she has received endless texts and calls from participants who said that the day was dignified and full of hope.
'My husband described it as community therapy. So many people got something from it,' she said. 'Even people who were a bit reluctant to take part in the event have been in touch to thank us.'
Though funds have yet to be counted, Gay expects that a large amount of money was raised for the Irish Cancer Society. Owing to its success, the event will run again next year in Wexford and Gay said that they hope for it to be bigger and better than the first.
The 24 hour event is a national initiative aimed at celebrating the lives of cancer survivors and remembering those who have been lost. The Wexford event was established thanks to a committee of eight people and the support of individuals and groups. Many of the relay teams organised events in the run up to the big day in an effort to raise additional money.