There’s no doubt about it: when fighting a disease as devastating and life-threatening as cancer, it can wreak havoc on your daily life. At the diagnosis and throughout the painful surgery and treatment process, the patient’s stress level (as well as his or her friend’s and family’s) can go through the roof. I’ve personally lost loved ones to cancer, and to watch them suffer is—in one word—heartbreaking. There is nothing quite like the feeling of helplessness—wanting to take away their pain, and knowing there is nothing you can do to physically ease the process they must go through. That is why when I look at fundraisers like Relay for Life I feel a renewed sense of hope.
These events are more than just ways to raise money for a cure (although that reason by itself is more than enough of a worthy cause). The Relay for Life events are ways for family members and friends of cancer patients and victims to show their support. It’s a way for us to say, “You’re not alone in this fight.” So many times we hear that the difference between the survivor and the victim is the will to live. Events like Relay for Life help to provide those in the fight with something that is not always easy to give—and that is hope. The fundraiser is also a way for us to honor those lost to the disease: our loved ones who fought the good fight until the end, and who remain in our hearts and memories forever.
Relay for Life was started back in the 1980s by a surgeon who wanted to help raise money for his local American Cancer Society office. From that one person, we now have Relay for Life events all around the country. His story is truly a testament to how one person can make a difference. If you’re wondering whether it’s worth it… to come out, and show your support… the answer I have for you is most definitely yes. Don’t think about it, just do it. You won’t regret it because you’ll be helping give hope for people in your neighborhood who are battling cancer. I encourage you to check out our calendar on page 34 for the remaining Relay for Life events happening near you in May.
Nelson Kirkland, Publisher