Local cancer survivor the face of Rocky Relay for Life
SHE was told she had just 18 months to live.
Six years and countless tests later, Lyndel Onions is using her experience to help others affected by cancer.
When Mrs Onions was first diagnosed with cancer in 2011, a 2.2cm tumour was found in her breast, but within three weeks it had grown to almost 7cm.
After a mastectomy, the cancer was found to have spread throughout her bones and seemingly endless chemotherapy, radiation, tests and scans followed.
Now, Mrs Onions has been named as one of the two Faces of Relay for 2017 and will help launch the Rockhampton Relay for Life, Paint the Town Purple Week from March 20 to 26 which aims to inspire the community to get involved.
Relay For Life is an 18 hour event involving teams of up to 15 people keeping a baton moving in a relay-style walk or run overnight, in support of all Queenslanders and all cancers.
Mrs Onions said she was honoured to be named Face of the Cancer Council Queensland Relay, held from May 20 to 21 at Tom Nutley Oval, and to lead the survivors and carers lap.
"I'm passionate about reaching out to support others. One of my biggest passions in life is people so I'm looking forward to connecting with everyone at Relay,” she said.
"To be able to share my story and give people hope is incredible.
"You don't have to put your whole life on hold for cancer, it's important to keep living and doing things you enjoy.”
Despite the struggles Mrs Onions has had to overcome, she said she still has a lot to be appreciative of and wants to help others realise the same.
"There is so much I have gained from my experience,” she said.
"It's been tough, but now that I look back it was a positive experience and there is a lot I can be thankful for,” she said.
"I want others to find that some positivity and support. At Relay For Life you realise you're not alone - there is support to be gained through meeting others on the same journey.
"You don't have to go through cancer alone.”
Survivors and carers are invited to join Mrs Onions and take part in the opening lap of Rockhampton Relay For Life, followed by afternoon tea.
Locals can register at the Relay registration desk at Tom Nutley Oval on Saturday, May 20 from 1pm.
To register a team, or find out more, visit www.relayforlife.org.au or phone 1300 65 65 85.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available via 13 11 20 or www.cancerqld.org.au.