The Chronicle team at Hervey Bay's Relay for Life event at the Seafront Oval.
The Chronicle team at Hervey Bay's Relay for Life event at the Seafront Oval.

RELAY FOR LIFE: Almost 600 gather at Hervey Bay event

ALMOST 600 dedicated walkers are currently lapping the Seafront Oval as Relay for Life enters its fifth hour.

At 5pm, $70,000 of the $80,000 fundraising target had been raised.

Of that, the Chronicle has raised more than $10,000.

Chronicle General Manager Brett Hanwright is the patron this year and delivered an emotive speech dedicated to his late wife Linda.

Read the speech in full below:

Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, survivors. Today, we gather, many of us strangers, united by a shared sense of purpose. 

The term cancer research is broad and daunting when you think of the enormity of the task scientists have in combatting an enemy we still don't know enough about. 

But for anyone who has been on a cancer journey, research represents HOPE. 

HOPE that the statistics will one day be in our favour. 

HOPE that our children will live long, happy lives. 

HOPE that one day, this insidious disease will bow to a word more menacing than cancer- CURE. 

The Chronicle is a proud supporter of Relay for Life, an event like no other, which raises vital funding for cancer research. 

We highlight this cause not because it is more worthy than many but because everyone is affected by cancer. 

Because this event is literally funding HOPE. 

Those of you who have followed our coverage would be aware of how cancer has touched my life. 

18 months ago, I lost my wife of 30 years and the mother of my two daughters, to pancreatic cancer. 

In the hardest of times, as I nursed her through 13 months of gruelling of cancer care, I promised I would use my platform as a senior media figure to help find a cure for the disease which would take her from us.

Since launching our fundraising campaign I have been touched by the camaraderie in this office as staff have taken turns in bringing in homecooked meals and treats in return for donations to our team total.

Our fundraising mascot - the travelling purple loo where businesses donate $30 to have it removed or $40 to send it on to another business - has made dozens of stops across the Fraser Coast and is here with us tonight. 

So far we have raised more than $10,000. 

Not so long ago, on an oval just like this in Kingaroy, Linda was with me as I walked for this event. 

Research kept her with us for longer than doctors had first expected and research is honouring her memory right now. 

A leading pancreatic scientist at the Clive Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane has Linda's name written on a board.

After meeting her in Kingaroy, he was so inspired by her story, he vowed not to not rest until he found a cure. 

He is the HOPE for the estimated 3,270 Australians who will have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer by the time this year is up.

Most of whom, will lose their lives in the next five years. 

So with that, and Linda's ever present memory in mind, I look forward to leading the Chronicle Warriors team and joining you on this journey. 

It is inevitable that for many of us, there will be moments of deep sadness and longing. 

But my wish for every person here, as you make your way around this oval and when you return to your daily lives, is that the overriding emotion you are left with, will be HOPE.