With youthful enthusiasm, 24-year-old Stephanie Kay throws herself into all opportunities to volunteer for the Cancer Council Queensland. Having fought-off the bowel cancer she was diagnosed with at 21, Steph’s eyes are on a cancer-free future.
“Volunteering makes me feel like I am fighting back against cancer,” she says.
As a Roma branch member, Steph has been involved in the Biggest Morning Tea, Daffodil Day and Pink Ribbon Day, but her favourite events remains Relay for Life.
“I love how it addresses the emotional side of the cancer experience,” she says.
“Relay is a unique opportunity to pay tribute to the people we love who have passed, as well as acknowledge those still living with cancer and survivors.”
Steph’s confident voice began to tremble as she recalled the time she was Face of Relay with another young bowel cancer survivor.
Climbing up a small hill during the candlelight ceremony, she looked down on the sea of faces lit up by burning candles, standing in solidarity against cancer and in support of those who have been touched by the disease.
She says CCQ is very supportive of their volunteers and people really do benefit from the work the organisation does.
“Living in a rural area, I most notice it when people need to go away for treatment, those needing assistance and support can always rely on Cancer Council,” she says.
Looking to the future, Steph’s relationship with CCQ is likely to be for life. As a young person, Stephanie hopes to encourage other young people to get involved. She says all forms of cancer affect young people and being part of a group of likeminded people with the same goals can be really beneficial.
“It is the most practical way to help at a grassroots level,” she says.
“Being a volunteer has also allowed me to meet other incredible volunteers, who work so hard to raise both funds and awareness.”
As a final word, Stephanie encourages anyone who is thinking about volunteering to “just do it – a cure needs to found.”
Words by Caitlin Archbold, Communications Volunteer