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Rosie Ratcliff and a community of friends will be taking part in the Port Augusta Relay For Life this October in memory of a friend taken too soon. 

Relay for Life Port Augusta - Rosie

Rosie has been involved in Relay for the past four years, originally taking part in the Gawler Relay to remember a close friend who lost her life to brain cancer.

“I first became involved as a way to honour her memory and since then, I’ve lost two more close friends to cancer, including my friend Paul in January this year,” she said.

Paul, who worked with Rosie, passed away from pancreatic cancer at just 52 years of age. With his family based in Port Augusta, taking part in the Port Augusta Relay For Life felt like the perfect way to celebrate his life and honour his memory.

“I was looking up Relay and we came across the Port Augusta event and just thought it was fate. We mentioned the idea to Paul’s parents, who are Port Augusta locals, and they loved the idea,” she said.

What started as a road trip with a couple of friends has grown in leaps and bounds, with more than 19 people now registered for the Relay For Life team, named ‘Pauly’s Angels’ in Pauls honour.

“Paul’s diagnosis and passing was all really sudden. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer during COVID-19 when we were all working from home and he never came back to work,” she said.

“Before he passed away, we all got the chance to go over and visit Paul at home and celebrate Christmas with him. He asked us all to bring a Christmas ornament to put up in the Christmas tree in his room, and he said he’d think of us every time he looked at it. It’s a really special memory,”

“Paul was inspiring, creative, compassionate and an amazing workmate and friend. My mother-in-law (I called her my second mum) died at the same age as Paul of melanoma, so I know what it’s like to lose a loved one to cancer. Taking part in Relay is our way of remembering Paul, and every South Australian impacted by cancer, while raising vital funds to save future lives.”

Relay For Life is chance for the local community to recognise and celebrate those impacted by cancer, honour and remember loved ones lost and raise vital funds to help save future lives.

Since the first event in 2006, the Port Augusta Relay For Life has raised more than $336,000 for South Australians impacted by cancer.

“I love being a part of the Relay community,” said Rosie.

“Every single person is there for the same reason – either they have lost someone to cancer or are supporting someone through a diagnosis and treatment. To see so many people get together to achieve a common goal is really special.”

For more information on Relay For Life or to register for your next event visit the Cancer Council SA website here.