Walking the walk

JOURNALIST Chris Kimball has had more experience reporting about the Relay for Life rather than participating in it.

However, as the ambassador of the 2013 Queanbeyan Relay for Life, Mr Kimball will be donning a jersey and joggers to join many others completing laps around the oval.

The 36-year-old said he is very happy to be the face of a community event that brings together people affected by cancer.

A total of $105,000 was raised for the Cancer Council at the first Queanbeyan Relay for Life held earlier this year with 28 teams comprised of 440 people participating in the event.

"I think there's a collective strength at events like this," Mr Kimball said.

"You can't go at it on your own, you share stories and it makes it more tolerable. It's a positive event."

Mr Kimball has his own very personal story to share, he was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer last year and endured intense chemotherapy treatment.

"I've done stories about [Relay for Life] but I never thought I would ever be the one needing the help...of the Cancer Council," he said.

"I've seen how much they can help and if people don't support them, they can't support us."

Mr Kimball said he found organisations, like the Cancer Council, were great resources for people with cancer and their family members.

He said they provided knowledge as well as specific and practical help.

"You can't underestimate the role of the Cancer Council and in my case the Leukaemia Foundation as well. There's so much great they can do in giving genuine and practical help."

Mr Kimball he is now in remission but he said learning he had cancer about a year ago was "the worst news you could ever get as a young bloke".

"I'd been feeling unwell for a long amount of time...people talk about 'man-flu' and I just thought I had that but for an extended period and for that reason I didn't take it seriously," he said.

"Eventually we got to the bottom of what it was and I had a rare sub-type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. It was well-established, well-advanced, what's known as stage four."

The father of two completed six months of chemotherapy to slow down the cancer and received a bone marrow transplant from his brother.

"It was a really, really brutal process. It was basically the strongest form of chemo the body can take without killing you...then they re-introduce bone marrow and stem cells to form a new immune system.

"It's a horrific process, to come out the end is good."

Queanbeyan Relay for Life will be held on February 16-17, 2013 at Seiffert Oval. For more information visit relay.cancercouncil.com.au.

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