11:00 – Thank for Checking In
Thanks everyone for following our live blog of the 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer’s opening ceremony and first laps – check back later today to see all the fantastic photos from the event.
You can send your 24 Hour Fight photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
10:55 – We Were Live
Check out this video of the Survivors Lap and the first of the participants filing onto the track.
10:45 – It’s Happening
The walkathon is well and truly under way, with the first Survivors Lap already taken place and all the participants now on the track.
10:30 – Noel Laming
“It is a privilege for our family to be able to open this event, number 11.
"My wife and I are both currently patients at Campbelltown Hospital.
“My wife was unwell last night and I apologise for her absence.
“It is unbelievable to think that all of this [fundraising] happens under our doorstep each year.
“God bless, let the great day begin.”
10:25 – Professor Vincent Ho
“We have to be thankful to all of you for coming here today.
“We’re working on a common cause, to fight cancer and to treat all different types of cancer.
“We’re by no means exclusive, we have treated a number of cancers at Campbelltown Hospital over the years.
“I’m a plumber of the gut, I like the gut, I think its full of pipes. We treat those pipes, and they can often get clogged up with lots of stuff.
“This is often cancer in the food pipe.
“What you’ve done today is helped purchase some equipment that can diagnose this gunk early on.
“The hospital is immensely grateful for your contribution.
“A real vote of thanks from all of us at the hospital to all of you – thank you very much.”
10:15 – Opening words
Chairman of the 24 Hour Fight – Fred Borg
“We have apologies from the Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic, Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong, Wollondilly MP Jai Rowell and Camden mayor Lara Symkowiak – and a big welcome to Meg Oates representing Campbelltown Council, Macarthur MP Dr Michael Freelander, Campbelltown MP Greg Warren and Wollondilly mayor Judith Hannan.
“Once again I welcome you to another very successful morning.
“We continue to achieve fantastic results, just this last year we’ve raised $350,000 – what a record, one you can all be very proud of.
“This takes the total amount raised to $3.4 million in 11 years.
“Last year our donations for the first time exceeded the amount we raised.
“The wish list totalled more than $430,000.
“The money we raise today we want to use for today’s people, we don’t want to leave it in the bank.
“I cannot put into words the number of people who receive better treatment and care because of your generosity and our supporters.
“Professor Andrew Wong says without this organisation we would not be able to have some of the life-saving equipment we have to treat breast cancer and thyroid and parathyroid diseases.
“Because of your hard work we have the best cancer services in NSW, if not Australia.
“It is the dedication of doctors that inspire and motivate the 24 Hour team and the people we have here today.
“We will raise a lot more money in the next 24 Hour, with all that said I will issue to each and every one of you a challege – where will the 24 Hour Fight be in the next 10 years?
“We’ve been told our contribution has made a big difference to many cancer patients.
“I’m asking you to remain dedicated to this event that has become a must-do item on the calendar.
“It is important that we all work together and lend a hand.
“I will be asking the councils of Wollondilly and Camden to become a lot more involved.
“I will remind them that everyone is involved is a volunteer and every dollar helps people in the Macarthur area.
“Please continue to support this charity that has made such a difference to people with cancer.
“The 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer, as far as I’m concerned, is here to stay.”
10:10am – Dawn Breakers Arrive
The Dawn Breakers team – whose members wake up bright and early to walk to the track at Campbelltown – arrived to great applause.
The team raised $12,000 this year.
9:50am – Bright and Sunny
The sun is super bright out here today – make sure you’ve got you’re hat and sunscreen and a bottle of water. The ceremony will begin any minute now!
9:30am – Some History
The 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer started more than 10 years ago and has raised more than $3 million for cancer services in the Macarthur region.
The event is entirely volunteer-run and every dollar raised stays in the Macarthur area.
The Fight has helped pay for things like a patient transport vehicle, a care nurse and a cooling cap machine allowing cancer patients to undergo radiation while minimising the risk of hair loss.
This year’s total is projected to be about $350,000 raised.
The opening ceremony will begin shortly.
9:10am – Setting Up
Volunteers, organisers and community groups have almost finished setting up the track at the 24 Hour Fight Against Cancer walkathon at Campbelltown Athletics Track, Leumeah.
There are food stations, kids’ marquees and the themed tents regulars will see every year.
Keep an eye on these live updates for all the action from the 24 Hour Fight opening ceremony.