VIDEO: Gladstone community joins forces for Oncology unit
WOMEN and men of all ages and walks of life joined forces at Gladstone's first ever Walk for Ribbons walk this morning.
It truly was a sight to see, with more than 50 people arriving for the walk at 9am dressed up in a variety of colourful, sparkly tutus, fairy wings, wigs and accessories.
Just before the walk was scheduled to begin, Spinnaker Park was engulfed in heavy rain and cloud cover.
"The downpour didn't put anyone off ... they all still showed up and walked around the whole park," the event organiser, Gladstone Physio & Fitness rehab trainer Bee Manley said.
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"It's the first time the walk has happened, so I'm really happy with this turnout."
It was clear from the beginning that everyone at the community walk shared a connection.
The morning tea held on the grass after the walk was a mosaic of different colours.
"Everyone is wearing a different colour depending on the type of cancer they've been impacted by," Mrs Manley, a cancer survivor herself, said.
"Pink is breast cancer, gold is child cancer, black is melanoma.
"You can never pick just one ribbon, one colour.
"It's about getting together as a community and involving everyone.
"This is a really important walk because while big foundations are great and really important, the money we raise by doing this ... we can see where it goes. We can see the result.
"The Oncology Unit at Gladstone Hospital needs help ... things as little as bed socks and magazines.
When asked how the walk came about, Mrs Manley said "just listening to my clients talk about their stories sparked the idea."
The early downpour wasn't the only obstacle the Walk for Ribbons had thrown its way.
Mrs Manley said their beverage plans fell through 20 minutes before the walk was set to begin.
ASN (Australian Sports Nutrition) really saved the day," she said.
"They were amazing ... with 20 minutes to prepare and get here, they still did it."
When asked if he was daunted by the 20 minute time crunch, Australian Sports Nutrition manager Terry Dunnett said "this is the kind of thing we love to do ... and they (the staff at Gladstone Physio & Fitness) always have smiles on their faces."
"We like to help out in the community ... we pride ourselves on it and when they called we were more than happy to help," he said.
Two participants at this morning's walk, Gwyn McPherson and Kevin Marriner, coordinated their costumes together.
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The pair were both wearing matching outfits and were kitted out in fake eyelashes, wigs, tutus and a fake moustache.
"We're wearing blue ... for colon cancer," Mrs McPherson said.
"Kevin is currently undergoing chemo ... so this really hits home and it's a fantastic idea.
"I hope they do it again," Mr Marriner said, looking back at the rainbow balloon display.