NEW FACE: Rosie Carlaw (right) with her grandchildren Jesse, Sarah and Brandon Swan, who was dressed as Sid the Seagull, during the weekend bake-sale.
NEW FACE: Rosie Carlaw (right) with her grandchildren Jesse, Sarah and Brandon Swan, who was dressed as Sid the Seagull, during the weekend bake-sale. Alexia Austin

Survivor new face of relay

ROSIE Carlaw is the picture of strength - and she is now the picture of this year's Roma Relay For Life.

This weekend, Rosie was welcomed in as the new face of the relay, after her long-term battle with cancer.

Roma was painted purple last week in honour of those battling the disease, with cancer council volunteers hosting a purple themed bake-sale for the launch of the relay on Saturday morning. NAB bank was awarded first place in the purple shop-front competition.

Rosie was on the front-line, serving up delicious baked goodies. She said she hoped to use the title to help raise awareness.

"My daughter asked me if I would like to participate and I jumped at the chance.

"I hope to represent all those battling the illness, and that's what the relay is all about - letting people know what it feels like and how important friends and family are during this time.”

Rosie was first diagnosed with cancer in 1999. With rigorous treatment she overcame the illness, going into remission for close to two decades. Unfortunately, 12 months ago the cancer reappeared and Rosie underwent further treatment.

Rosie said this year's relay will be her 8th.

"It seems as if cancer is becoming as prevalent as a common cold, there's just so much of it,” she said.

"My family and friends have been great, and I've also received a lot of support from local cancer care nurses and staff.

"I want to let people know - those in the community living with cancer, or those that have loved ones that have the illness - that these are the people who can help you, and there is always support out here.”

Rosie encouraged residents to sign up for the relay, which will be held in Roma in October.

"The relay is cathartic,” she said.

"The candlelight ceremony is very emotionally cleansing. You see all the people walking with their candles, and you know it's in support. It's very personal, it helps to give us all strength.”

This year's relay theme is spring carnival, and there is an early bird special for team registration operating until August 4. All proceeds from the relay go to cancer research and services.


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