Roslyn's story

"Every step and every dollar raised gives hope to someone fighting cancer."


My name is Roslyn Novakovic, I am a cancer survivor and Global Relay For Life Hero of Hope. In March 1992, six months after I was married, I was diagnosed with high grade B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

I had surgery within days, as I had two tumours on my liver and a tumour on my left ovary the size of a tennis ball. I lost my left ovary completely and was told my chances of having children were unlikely, but I defied the odds and had two boys who are both now teenagers. I had a year of extensive chemotherapy, radium to the brain and fourteen lumbar punctures.

My husband and family rallied behind me and encouraged me to fight back. I was positive throughout my battle and fought the cancer with all my strength. While in treatment, the doctors asked me to help a 14-year-old girl called Rebecca who had been diagnosed with cervical cancer, as she was so young and she wasn't coping. I took her out on an outing and built up her confidence to fight. She beat the cancer and is now married.

I fought my battle and won, but there are others who have lost their lives, including a number of my family and friends. My brother died of leukaemia when he was 10 years old and I lost my father 12 years ago to gall bladder cancer. Now, I want to help others fight back through Relay For Life and give hope in their battle to survive against cancer. That’s why I Relay.

Relay For Life is a great event where local communities unite and get involved. It gives Cancer Council the opportunity to educate everyone about how important early detection is to surviving cancer. If something is not right, get it checked out. Don't wait until it’s too late. Cancer Council’s Relay For Life has helped me realise that it is great to get involved and help others, as I have been through it.

I encourage local communities in your state or area to join a team of family members, friends and colleagues and help us. As every step and every dollar raised gives hope to someone fighting cancer.