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Join the fight against cancer

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By Michelle McGuffin

ISSUE: Relay for life

OUR VIEW: A walk of support 

 

Many lose sleep nightly because cancer, a terrible disease, has entered their lives, attacking them or someone they love. But tonight many in our area will give up sleep to support these individuals and celebrate victories over this disease by participating in the first of the two Relay for Life events in Hardin County this year.

The Elizabethtown area event begins at 6 tonight at Freeman Lake Park. The second will take place June 6 at North Hardin High School. Survivors, families and friends will take a walk of support and awareness into the early morning hours. Individuals from businesses, churches and families will take turns walking to symbolize the unfortunate reality: Cancer never sleeps.

Cancer is not a disease to be conquered alone.

Those facing the disease fight many battles. Besides the physical effects, it is emotionally and spiritually challenging as well. From a suspicion of the disease through its diagnosis and treatment, the

effects are overwhelming for individuals and those who hold them dear.

Statistics show a high probability of being affected on some level by this disease, directly or through a family member. Currently, the American Cancer Society estimates the lifetime probability of being affected by cancer for women is 1 in 3, for men 1 in 2.

Cancer knows no discrimination. It does not know gender, race, age or economic status. While we can strive to lead a healthy life, sometimes genetics overpower our best efforts to avoid the disease.

Progress toward increasing survival rates is being made, thanks to increased research, education and early detection. Studies conclude that the earlier cancer is detected the greater the changes of beating the odds.

Improved mammography technology, along with awareness, has shown improvement such as breast cancer survival rates increasing from 75 percent in 1977 to a current 89 percent rate. Another cancer, Melanoma, has improved from 82 percent to 92 percent over the same 30-year span. These numbers give us hope, but leave room for continued improvement.

Relay for Life reminds us to find strength to support those who have faced cancer and survived, as we celebrate their victories and to remember the loved ones lost.

Teams of families, churches and companies will walk Freeman Lake Park this evening and North Hardin High School the following Friday carrying hope that research, early prevention and improved treatment will one day overcome this disease.

Show your support to one or both Relay for Life events this year by being a part of the celebration and raising money for research. Take a walk to show your support. If you cannot make either of the events give a donation to help finance vital research to prevent, treat and find a cure.

Cancer is more than just a disease, it is a life-altering, life-threatening event. Relay for Life is more than just a celebration to raise money for research, although the money raised will be used by the American Cancer Society for this purpose. It is a time to come together as friends, family and community to acknowledge the reality of this disease, the significant difference regular screenings and early detection can make to save a lives. It’s a time to contribute our time, talent and resources to change the future.

This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.