Opinion

Join Relay for Life and make a difference | Editorial

Support Relay for Life and you are helping someone win a battle against cancer. You are helping educate people so they know how to live better to reduce their cancer risk. And you are helping to fund research that will someday make cancer go the way of polio.

Relay for Life is held in thousands of communities across the United States, including Friday Harbor. Thanks in part to funds raised by Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society has more than $434 million in research grants in effect today.

The result of those research dollars? Since 1946, the American Cancer Society has invested more than $3.1 billion in research. In 1946, 25 percent of cancer patients lived at least five years after diagnosis; today, that rate is 60 percent.

The San Juan County Relay for Life is Friday and Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 11 a.m., on the Friday Harbor High School football field. The local fundraising goal: $75,000.

You can help that goal become reality.

Relay teams are comprised of former and current cancer patients, those who have lost a loved one to cancer, as well as families, businesses and civic organizations.

Teams collect donations and can win individual and team prizes for their efforts (fund-raising activities since the Feb. 9 kickoff have included the Ruby Stillettos’ car washes and Islanders Bank’s Relay Idol singing competition). Many participants camp at the relay site and, when they are not taking their turn walking, take part in fun activities and enjoy local entertainment.

“Many participants are our family, friends and neighbors who have dealt with cancer themselves,” local co-chairwoman Deanna Osborn said. “Their involvement is proof of the progress in not only reducing death rates, but also in improving the quality of life following cancer treatment.”

There’s still time to join the effort and make a difference. Call 378-6877 or 378-2300.

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