Roger Aguilar was known to all as a man of faith and generosity.
One of 14 siblings, the Hebersham man dedicated his life to his nieces and nephews, as well as those less fortunate.
In early 2016, Mr Aguilar was diagnosed with liver cancer. Despite his determination to overcome the disease, he lost his battle in June aged 53.
As Blacktown Relay for Life celebrates its 15th year this month, the Aguilar family have come together to honour Roger’s memory at the annual fundraiser.
“Roger was extremely generous. He didn’t have a family, but he was always raising money for other families in the Philippines,” his niece Dianne said.
“After we lost Roger we thought long and hard about what we could do as a family. I remembered Relay For Life, which I’d been involved with at high school.
“It seemed the perfect way to honour his memory and his generous spirit.”
So far 19 people have signed up to be part of Roger’s Angels, taking shifts to walk around Blacktown International Sportspark from October 28-19.
The annual event is not just a show of solidarity for cancer victims and survivors, but also the main fundraiser for Cancer Council in the area.
Teams this year have so far pledged $67,775, more than half the goal of $120,000.
Blacktown Police Chief Inspector Bob Fitzgerald, the chairperson of Blacktown Relay for Life, said the event also helps educate the community about cancer risk factors.
“It’s a moment for reflection for me personally. I do a couple of slow laps just to think about the past,” he said.
“It’s very personal. I think it’s very important that we do it.”
While the candlelight ceremony gives everyone the opportunity to remember those lost to cancer, the event is not just a solemn occasion.
Activities including an inflatable gym, go karting, rock climbing and live entertainment give the weekend a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.
Participants are also encouraged to dress up for Mr and Mrs Relay and the Zombie Midnight Lap.
Find out more during purple day at Blacktown Hospital this Wednesday, October 18, or sign up at: relayforlife.org.au/blacktown.