Click or flick across for more photos of Imogen, or Click here for a gallery of past Relay for Life events on the Border.
THE Border’s annual Relay for Life has the potential to break all previous fund-raising records when it starts tomorrow, says the event chairman.
Carl Friedlieb said $292,000 had been collected so far, exceeding the figure from the same time last year.
“We are expecting another successful weekend because of the numbers so far,” he said.
“We’ve got 163 teams and 2381 participants, which is up by 200.”
Mr Friedlieb said this year’s event would incorporate new features including the Relay for Life hero, a title that has gone to a young cancer survivor from Tallangatta.
Imogen Wallace, 17, was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2009 and after 12 months of treatment, she recovered sufficiently to return to school.
“It’s pretty cool and humbling to know people have chosen me,” she said.
“Being a hero, though, I’m not sure about because people have done things more noble and suffered more than I have.
“It’s nice people see me that way but it’s weird because I don’t see myself like that.”
The Tallangatta Secondary College student said she believed heroes were increasingly seen as those who had suffered adversity.
“People who put up a fight for something are those who people look up to,” she said.
“Or people who are doing something for a good cause.”
Imogen will open the Relay for Life ceremony and lead the carers and survivors walk before sharing her story.
She said she hoped she could use the role to give something back to those who supported her through her journey.
“Raising awareness about cancer is obviously important,” she said.
“But I want to create awareness about the Cancer Council and what they are doing.”
Mr Friedlieb said Imogen was chosen to be the hero because of her unique story.
“She cut the ribbon for Relay for Life in 2011 and she was on crutches with her legs in plaster,” he said.
“Since then has beaten a lot of battles and grown in to an excellent role model for youth.”
The Border Mail will be selling newspapers and showbags at the Border Relay for Life tomorrow, with all proceeds going to the event.