Relay for Life participants raise $164,000

Payne Park was a sea of purple this weekend, as more than 600 people participated in the 2019 Relay for Life to raise money for the nation's peak cancer authority.

The 68 participating teams managed to raise a whopping $164,333 for the Cancer Council, well exceeding the initial goal of $144,000.

Survivors and carers walked hand in hand to kick-off the two-day event before being joined by participants donning fancy dress.

The fundraising event began with the opening ceremony, featuring a thought-provoking speech from cancer survivor Clint Knop on his journey, his diagnosis and the impact of treatment as well as the heartbreak of telling his family.

"Although led by science, there is more to the story than we care to recognise," he said.

"We should rigorously explore it to find out what we do not know yet.

"I challenge the medical system to put aside the commercialisation of cancer and truly, for the benefit of human existence, change the way we view this disease.

"I would also like to encourage the City of Bunbury to extend its awareness and allow Bunbury to be a leader in this field.

"Integrated holistic medicine, wellness centres and overall support facilities for this epidemic could set this town apart.

"What we have done as a race is develop support networks. Women in particular are amazing at constructing groups to offer healing and encouragement during such a journey.

"I call out to the men of our society to start supporting others better - be vulnerable, and don't be afraid to share your story and ask for help.

"Cancer is not gender biased. Collectively, we need to become safe spaces for each other, free of blame, and understand that a healing process is unique to each of us regardless of race, gender or social demographic."

Mr Knop used the opportunity to thank the medical staff working tirelessly to support those living with the debilitating disease, as well as the friends and family that offer hope, strength, faith and courage to those suffering.

In closing, Mr Knop encouraged attendees to savour each moment and make it count.

"This morning I wanted to remind you of a moment, those moments that you only have one of," he said.

"One moment to smile at someone who doesn't even know they need it.

"One moment to show kindness, even when you feel like you shouldn't.

"One moment to hug somebody before they take their life.

"One moment to look your child in their eyes and express your love for them.

"One moment to hold your partner's hand when they're feeling lost and alone.

"One moment to call someone if they've crossed your mind.

"One moment to tell your parents that you appreciate them for all that they have done.

"One moment to love another when all you have is hate.

"One moment is all we have each and every day.

"It is your choice to change these moments, redesign your life and create something beautiful for yourself and all those around you.

"Cancer touches us all.

"Today, make that moment count and change the course of history.

"What will you do today if given that moment?"

The funds raised from this year's event will go towards supporting cancer research, information and support services for those undergoing treatment.