HER mum's breast cancer diagnosis was the initial prompt for Lacie Ryan to step up and take action but she says her true motivation has always been in supporting others.
Ms Ryan and her family made a choice back in 2008 to channel their energies into focusing on fundraising, boosting awareness and celebrating life with others affected by cancer, rather than dwell on their own frustrations.
She was 14 years old, her sister 11, when their mum Tabitha Ryan was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent multiple surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation that has kept her in remission 11 years later.
The girls shaved their heads to fundraise for support before moving into Relay For Life, an event for which Ms Ryan has moved on to Ballarat's organising committee.
This month, Ms Ryan has become Ballarat's Daffodil Day ambassador and champions awareness and funds for Cancer Council Victoria and its vast work in advocacy, cancer prevention and family support.
(Friends) want to help but are unsure how and are genuinely asking for the right reasons. This is a ways they can help.Lacie Ryan
"It was really tough mentally when mum was diagnosed. People just wanted to be there for you at school, but at that age, no-one really understands anything about cancer except death," Ms Ryan said.
"Every day friends would ask how are you, how's your mum...They want to help but are unsure how and are genuinely asking for the right reasons."
Ms Ryan said the support network her family had developed via Cancer Council had greatly helped them all navigate their mother's cancer journey and sparked close friendships of people with shared experience.
Cancer Council had helped provide a solicitor for her grandfather that he needed before he died from prostate cancer.
Ms Ryan said her family was lucky to still have their mum, but she was determined to keep doing what she could to help families who were still doing it tough.
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Cancer Council figures show about 665 people are diagnosed with cancer in Ballarat each year.
Daffodil Day, on August 27, is a campaign encouraging people to donate to cancer research and spread the symbol of hope.
Fundraising for Cancer Council programs have taken a hit with the pandemic.
Ballarat has had the past two Relay For Life events cancelled. Ms Ryan said the organising committee was doing its best to plan to keep the 2022 event. which raises money for Cancer Council, on track for February.
Ms Ryan said she had long been "mesmerised" with the event, everyone walking as one to make a difference.
To support Daffodil Day, visit daffodilday.com.au.