Photo Gallery: Great Yarmouth Relay for Life 2011

It was a memorable and emotional day afternoon as hundreds of people turned out to a 20-hour relay event in Caister today to help raise thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK.

Inspired stall holders, organisers, teams and local residents came to show their support for the fourth annual Great Yarmouth Relay for Life, as well as honour cancer survivors and celebrate life.

Forth time participant Tonie Ewles, 16, attends Caister High School were the event is taking place and said she is always happy to help.

'It's just lovely,' she said. 'It's like I am able to give something back after everything I have been through.'

Miss Ewles, who was diagnosed with soft-tissue cancer rhabdomyosarcoma at just 22-months-old, was joined by her family who had put on a raffle to help raise funds.

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Mum, Terry Kemp said: 'I'm extremely proud of her and she is very mature. She only had a 30pc chance to live and we are very grateful she is here.'

Miss Ewles took part in the survivors lap, which traditionally starts proceedings.

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Also walking the survivors lap was Julie Hanks, 54, from Gorleston.

She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2006, just six months after the death of her sister, Joanne, who died from the same disease aged 42.

She said: 'Events like this are so important. For one thing, it raises awareness, and also it's fundraising and we want to find a cure.'

Mrs Hanks is also a member of the organising committee for Relay for Life and also helps other ovarian cancer sufferers by running a support group for those with the disease.

A member of that support group, who also took part in today's event, is Beverley Sharman, 53, from Lowestoft.

She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and deep vein thrombosis a year ago next month.

She said: 'I had a hysterectomy and they also discovered I had cancer in my uterus. I then had further surgery to remove my cervix.

'The support of my local ovarian cancer support group and everyone around me, including my husband Paul, my daughter Katy and my four-and-a-half-month-old grandson harry, is why I am here today. It's very emotional but I feel privileged to have walked the survivors lap and to be here with all the other wonderful people who have survived cancer and I know together we will beat this thing.'

This year's event also includes a team from Nottingham participating in memory of one of the member's child, who died of cancer, while the Great Yarmouth Road Runners are also running for the whole 20 hours of the event with one member Steve Etherington, walking nonstop for the duration in memory of relatives lost to cancer.

The relay started at 2pm today and will see people walking around the track till 10am tomorrow morning.

At 9.30pm a very special Candle of Hope Ceremony will take place which will see relay participants gather to pay tribute to friends, family and loved ones by placing Candles of Hope around the track.

The ceremony gives everyone a special opportunity to remember those who have been lost to cancer and to celebrate the lives of those who have survived the disease.

There will be live entertainment and music throughout the day until 10.30pm tonight.

Today's event will bring in much needed money to help with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer and since it began in 2008, a mammoth �100,000 has been raised for Cancer Research UK.

Chairman of the event, Jayne King, added: 'It really is great fun but, with the knowledge that we are all really making a difference.'

Organisers are hoping to raise a total of �44,000.

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