Pawsome: Dogs join Fairfield Relay for first time

This year's Fairfield Relay for Life (November 16 and 17) has added a cute and cuddly element.

For the first time relayers are invited to register their four-legged canine friends to participate on Sunday morning from 7am to 10am at the Relay's new home at the Fairfield Showground.

There will be a dedicated track for the dogs and their owners and the $5 dog registration includes a special bandana sponsored by Bark Busters. There will also be prizes for the best dressed purple-themed dog with a dog parade taking place at 8.30am.

Research has shown that pets can play a vital role in supporting those undergoing cancer treatment or palliative care. Registered pooches who are with a registered participant will be able to wear 'Carer' sashes on the track to recognise the importance of their involvement.

As part of the entertainment, the Deer Bush Dog Club will be hosting a special agility demonstration.

Club secretary Sue Federoryschyn, who had a cancerous kidney removed in June last year, said the club has been at Fairfield Showground since 1976.

"I'm a cancer survivor so the Relay for Life is something close to my heart," she said.

"We have a team of volunteer trainers who educate the local dog community in their responsibility of owning and training a dog. We're very happy to be supporting Fairfield Relay for Life and have registered a team to participate.

"We'll be demonstrating flyball and agility at 8am on Sunday morning."

This year's Fairfield Relay For Life starts on November 16 at 10am with the first lap to be led by the police marching band. The first lap is reserved for cancer survivors and carers.

Saturday's program includes a range of entertainment, information stalls and food options, including a five-a-side soccer competition, a dunk tank, lion dancers and a special K-pop dance performance. The candlelight ceremony of hope will be held at 8pm.

This year's fundraising target is set at $120,000. If it is achieved, the Fairfield Relay will have raised a total of $1 million for Cancer Council NSW since it started 13 years ago.

The funds will go to Cancer Council's world-class research, prevention, advocacy and support services including the Enriching Survivorship living well after cancer program at Liverpool Hospital and the 131 120 cancer support line.

Figures from the Cancer Institute NSW show that in the South Western Sydney Local Health District 624 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year alone

BreastScreen NSW are encouraging women to get together with a friend to book a mammogram as part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. More than one in eight women in NSW will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, but almost half of women aged 50-74 are not getting their recommended two yearly mammograms.

South Western Sydney Local Health District BreastScreen NSW, Clinical Director, Dr Patsy Soon, said there are many reasons why women might be missing their recommended mammogram.

"They put it off because they are too busy, they are nervous about going, or nervous about the results," Dr Soon said. "By encouraging a friend to go with them, women can ensure that making the appointment becomes a priority. It also means that they will have someone to support them on the day, and as they get the results."

Chief Cancer Officer and CEO of the Cancer Institute NSW, Professor David Currow said around 60 per cent of breast cancers are diagnosed in women aged 50-74.

"Our research shows that a lot of women believe that breast cancer will never happen to them. We want women in Sydney's south-west, particularly those between the ages of 50 and 74, to be aware that breast cancer can happen to them, but that if caught at the earliest stage, can be successfully treated in almost all cases," Professor Currow said.

  • An appointment with BreastScreen NSW is free and takes about 20 minutes in total. To book a mammogram phone 13 20 50. You can search for your nearest BreastScreen NSW service or book online by visiting

Fairfield Relay For Life

  • The Deer Bush Dog Training Club hosts obedience training on Tuesday nights and agility classes on Wednesdays. Details:,