STORIES OF HOPE: Diagnosis close to home
WHEN Lisa Conway first got involved with Relay for Life, she had never been touched by cancer.
For seven years she took part simply because it was a "good cause”.
But in 2012 it became much more than that.
"Just two months after opening a new business in town, my aunty was diagnosed with bowel cancer,” she said.
"She had a 4cm tumour and she was only 46.”
Lisa said her aunt had to leave her business in the hands of family and travel to Brisbane for six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation.
Returning straight to work afterwards, Lisa's aunt spent the next five months juggling a new business with regular trips to Rockhampton for chemo, as well as multiple surgeries.
"She spent two years recovering and to this day she still has issues trying to get her body back to normal,” Lisa said.
"Her advice to anyone who feels like there's something wrong with their body is to seek medical help.
"Even if they tell you you're too young, persist.”
Lisa said her aunt's experience encouraged her to become more involved with Relay for Life by joining the committee.
"It hits home when someone really close to you is affected... it really can happen to anyone.”
Lisa said while she understood many of us had busy lives, it was important to give back.
"People going through cancer treatment have days where they are physically and mentally exhausted, but they have to push through,” she said.
"So it's the least we can do.”