The “face of cancer” is often that of a famous celebrity — such ESPN basketball reporter Craig Sager, former NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw, “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts and actress Valerie Harper.
But famous people shouldn’t be what comes to mind when we think about cancer. We’ve all known someone closer to us who has fought a battle with one form or another of cancer. They might be friends, family members or co-workers.
Cancer is a terrible disease that has no favorites. It’s an equal opportunity killer, too often with no rhyme or reason for choosing its victims. And even though modern medicine has advanced by leaps and bounds in efforts to cure cancer, the journey often still remains a long, tedious and painful one.
For all of those reasons, and so many more, Saturday’s 12-hour Relay For Life event in Bladen County is incredibly important — and is one being mirrored across the country throughout the spring.
Many long-time readers of the Bladen Journal still recall what cancer took not only from the newspaper’s pages, but also from the sidelines and other spots of the area’s activities. Buddy Burney and Michael Simmons succumbed to the disease, but not before becoming beloved icons of the county’s newspaper.
Each one of you, however, also have someone in your life that has fought the fight — successfully, unsuccessfully and possibly even more than once. So supporting the efforts of the Relay For Life program, which raises money for groundbreaking research in every type of cancer and providing free information and services to cancer patients and their caregivers, is really important.
Saturday’s event, which will take place around the track and football field at Elizabethtown Middle School from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., will include the usual track-walking along with special events throughout the day like a Survivor’s Lap and Luminary Ceremony. There will be colorful and creative “campsites” set up be church, school, business and civic organization teams, as well as plenty of entertainment to keep things hopping. You can read Staff Writer Chrysta Carroll’s story on Page 1A today for a more in-depth look at the event.
At some point during the day, each of you should plan to stop by the Relay For Life event and, at the very least, contribute what you can to the coffers. Your donation will be going to a worthy and necessary cause, and will be put to good use — and just might help one of your loved one or yourself should cancer ever strike sometime down the road.
Let’s all turn out Saturday in support, so that our actions represent what we are willing to do for ourselves, for our loved ones, and for our community to fight cancer year-round and to commit to saving lives.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Cancer does not have a face until it’s yours or someone you know.” (Anthony Del Monte)