Family team up across globe for relay

"Melrose Place" team leaders Trina (left) and Angela Melrose are looking forward to making a...
"Melrose Place" team leaders Trina (left) and Angela Melrose are looking forward to making a splash with their team in fun, vibrant purple outfits, during the Dunedin Relay for Life this Saturday, at Forsyth Barr Stadium. PHOTO: BRENDA HARWOOD
The 12-strong "Melrose Place" team will be hard to miss at the Dunedin Relay for Life this Saturday at Forsyth Barr Stadium, sporting vibrant purple outfits and with sassy attitude to burn.

Team leaders and cousins-in-law Trina and Angela Melrose, and their fellow Melrose Place team members, are among hundreds of locals who will come together for the giant community fundraising event, which aims to celebrate, remember and fight back against cancer.

Safe from the weather under the stadium roof, the Dunedin Relay for Life will run from 10am to 10pm on Saturday, starting with an opening ceremony led by relay ambassador Dunedin policewoman Tamsyn Hayes and Dunedin Mayor Jules Radich, and a "celebration lap" for people affected by cancer and their carers.

Throughout the day, participants will enjoy live entertainment and food from local vendors, before the relay concludes with a moving candlelight ceremony at 9pm, and an energising closing ceremony.

There is an open invitation for cancer patients and families affected by cancer to attend the opening ceremony and the candlelight ceremony.

Trina and Angela are looking forward to being part of the great atmosphere at Relay for Life, which combines high spirits with the serious purpose of supporting those affected by cancer, remembering those lost, and raising funds for the Cancer Society Otago-Southland.

The Melrose Place team is rallying around in support of family members who are battling cancer. Having experienced first-hand the support provided by the Cancer Society, they are keen to give something back.

The idea of having a team in the Dunedin Relay for Life came from Trina and her daughters Alana McGregor and Kylie Jenkins, who were inspired after receiving "tremendous care and support" from the Cancer Society.

"It will be our first Relay for Life, and we are really looking forward to the experience — we know it will be a rollercoaster of emotions," Trina said.

A cancer navigator for the Otago-Southland Cancer Society, Angela has been involved in several relays in recent years, but has not experienced a "full-scale" relay at the stadium.

"Everyone is there for the same reason — to turn a tough situation into a good time, and raise funds for a very good cause."

Her Dunedin-based daughter Trina will be part of the team, while her United Kingdom-based daughter will be running the full London Marathon and is raising funds for the cause.

Fundraising is going really well for the Melrose Place team, who have been "amazed" by the generosity of family and friends.

Cancer Society Otago-Southland events manager Emma Anderson said the Dunedin Relay for Life had a fundraising goal of $150,000 and had already raised more than $97,000 towards the Cancer Society’s work across the division.

This included supportive care services, groups, equipment, maintaining Daffodil House, drivers, counselling, and investing in cancer research and early detection.

Visitors and spectators are welcome at the Dunedin Relay for Life, and are invited to make a donation at the Cancer Society tent.