The names and their personal histories of the two sisters are not important. What is important is that both of them are alive today, as cancer survivors. They each have a husband, children and grandchildren — all of whom love them and need them. They have a father, a step- mother and a brother. They have cousins, nieces, nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews. They are women upon whom many loved ones lean and depend.
When cancer strikes it scares us. The very word is feared. Even when we are told it is benign, it makes us shutter. But when we are told it is malignant, we tremble. We know that cancer unabated will surely kill.
The two sisters each fought breast cancer and beat it. One chose a combination of treatments. One chose a more radical approach. Both made the choice they felt was right for them. They survived to return to good health, and that is what really matters.
Today the fight against cancer is much more winnable then it was when my father died from it and when their aunt died from it. Today we have a much better chance. One reason is the success of the Relay for Life.
ALL OVER AMERICA, the Relay for Life takes place over a period of months. In Gilmer, the Relay for Life is Friday-Saturday, May 6-7, 2011. The objective is raising money for the American Cancer Society. Every year, millions of dollars are raised in events all over the country under the banner of Relay for Life.
These events began in 1985, when Dr. Gordon Klatt of Tacoma, Washington raised money for his cancer patients by raising money through a walk at which sponsors contributed for his efforts. He walked 83 miles, raising $27,000 for the American Cancer Society. The Relay for Life was born by one man's action to help others.
From that humble beginning, the commitment and determination spread. Today, 26 years later, the Relay for Life involves four million Americans in 5,000 communities, all working to raise money for the American Cancer Society through events such as the one Dr. Klatt began in 1985.
Will you think about making a contribution to this worthy cause? If so, your local news media will provide places you can call or appear to contribute to the cause. The Relay for Life is a nationwide effort, and this week, it is happening in our city.
We all know someone who has fought cancer. Many of us will live to face it ourselves. This week is a time we can help others and help ourselves.
© 2011, Jim “Pappy” Moore, All Rights Reserved.
Jim “Pappy” Moore is a native son of East Texas who still makes the piney woods his home. firstname.lastname@example.org
Relay for Life event
to be held at Buckeye Stadium
Help “light up the track” on Friday, May 6, during the Relay for Life Event to be held at Buckeye Stadium in Gilmer.
Luminarias are now on sale to honor those who are fighting cancer, to recognize someone who has beaten cancer, or to remember someone who has lost their battle with cancer. Proceeds from the event help support the American Cancer Society, which is dedicaed to education, patient services, ad-
vocacy and research to find a cure.
The names of those being honored or remembered will be read during the Luminaria Ceremony. Last year, more than 400 luminarias were lighted at 9 p.m. in the an impressive and solemn event.
The minimum donation is $5. However, for donations of $10 or more, the luminaria bag will be decorated with a special “Silver Donor” Label. Checks are to be made to the American Cancer Society.
Forms are available from any Relay for Life team captain, or can be picked up at the First National Bank of Gilmer or the First United Methodist Church in Gilmer.
Help in the fight against cancer. It’s not too late to buy luminarias or to make donation. For more information about the Relay for Life of Upshur County, please call Sara Allen at 903-339-5136.
Mark your calendar and join us for the celebration on May 6.