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International Youth Day

Observed annually on 12 August, International Youth Day brings youth issues to the attention of the international community and celebrates the potential of youth as partners in today’s global society.

Young people play a hugely important part in Relay For Life around the world, and we think International Youth Day is a great opportunity to highlight the importance young Australians have in the growth and development of Relay in Australia. But it’s also a timely reminder that cancer affects everyone young and old.

Between 2003-07, cancers in adolescents and young adults accounted for 1.7% of all cancer cases diagnosed in Australia, with melanoma being the most common cancer diagnosed in this age group.* There is now a growing range of services and information specifically for young people with cancer, and Cancer Council undertakes a range of SunSmart programs to help educate young people about the risk of skin cancers and melanoma.

The Relay For Life schools program is another way to engage young people in the fight against cancer, while also encouraging teambuilding and bringing cancer education into the classroom.

To read about the difference young people are making to Relay, check out James and Amelia’s personal stories. Having both fought cancer at a young age, James and Amelia say that Relay has made a huge difference in their lives, and they still consider themselves proud Relayers to this day.

Thank you Amelia and James for sharing your stories and thanks also to the thousands of other young Australians who take to the track each year!

*AIHW 2011. Cancer in adolescents and young adults in Australia. Cancer series no. 62. Cat. no. CAN 59. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 11 August 2014.