Relay is your chance to fight cancer

Published 9:55 pm Tuesday, January 21, 2003

By By James Crawford
News Editor
Picture with me, if you will, this scenario. It's late one night around 2 a.m.; you have a fever that you just can't get rid off; you can't keep any food down; and you feel so dizzy you can't stand up. When you run your fingers through your hair, a large clump comes out and you silently weep.
If the above scene sounds like something you'd run to the emergency room for, imagine living like that every night and that's the best you have to look forward too.
This is the reality countless American's living with cancer face on a daily basis and sometimes even those living with the cure. But there is hope and its time for everyone to become a part of it.
Each year in Atmore, you have a major opportunity to contribute to the fight against cancer by donating your time or resources to the Relay for Life, conducted annually by the American Cancer Society.
The relay serves as the cancer society's major fund-raiser for the year and constitutes the major of the donations the organization will receive through a community activity.
The funds from the relay go to help provide cancer victims with medicine, transportation to treatment centers, places to stay during treatment and wellness products to help those who have survived cancer deal with the aftermath.
The relay works by grouping eight to 15 people in a team. Each member takes turns walking/running around a track or path during a set period, which can be 12 or 24 hours.
Usually local businesses or service organizations make up the bulk of the team members but the inclusion of families and concerned citizens make up the heart of the run.
Each team member is asked to raise a certain amount of money before the event, which can come from a variety of sources, such as cake sales, garage sales or other fund-raisers. The relay has become so popular, it's ran in more than 3,000 communities and even in foreign countries.
According to the American Cancer Society's website, more than one million people become infected with cancer each year. The site goes on to point out that one out of every two American men and one out of ever three American women will develop some form of cancer at some point during their life.
The statistics and the numbers are staggering. In the shadow of well advertised campaigns for AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, cancer is still one of the strongest killing diseases we have out there and its showing no signs of slowing down. It's vital that everyone who can lend a hand to help fight the disease.
Cancer doesn't discriminate. It can spread to any of the vital organs or areas of the body, including the mouth, throat, larynx, pancreas, liver, lungs, kidney, stomach, groin areas and more. It doesn't care who you are or how old you are and it can affect more than one area at a time.
Unfortunately, most American's are able to name at least one person they know that has died from cancer or suffers from its debilitating effects.
I know from personal experience, that's why this cause is vital to me. My father died of cancer in 1993 after excruciatingly painful tumors and my mother lives with same asbestos type of cancer every day, waiting for the time that the cancer will begin to spread and take her life. Until then she enjoys each day as best she can.
I don't want anyone else's mother or father to be put in the same position, so won't you join me in supporting the American Cancer Society in any way you can. You never know who you may one day be helping. It might be your mother or father or it might even be you.
You can read more about the American Cancer Society or the Relay for Life at or for more information call (800)227-2345.

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