Opinion

Support Relay for Life this weekend and make a difference in the battle against cancer | Editorial

— Editor's note: This editorial corrects the earlier-reported start time for Relay for Life. The event begins at 2:30 p.m.

Times are tough right now. But for just a few dollars, and a little bit of your time, you can bolster cancer research and help provide services for local cancer patients.

This year, Relay for Life is Saturday, 2:30 p.m., to Sunday, 11 a.m., on the Friday Harbor High School football field.

Walk in honor of a survivor. Light a candle in memory of someone who has passed on. Know that you are making a difference. Know that you are not alone: 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.

By participating, you will help educate people so they know how to live better to reduce their cancer risk. And you will help 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. Thanks in part to funds raised by Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society has about $500 million in research grants in effect today. Each year, Friday Harbor’s Relay for Life contributes at least $60,000 toward that cause.

The result of those research dollars? The American Cancer Society has about $4 billion in research for a cure. In 1946, 25 percent of cancer patients lived at least five years after diagnosis; today, that rate is 60 percent.

Relay for Life brings the progress against cancer to the forefront. Many participants are our family, friends and neighbors who have dealt with cancer themselves. Their involvement is proof of the progress in not only reducing death rates, but also in improving the quality of life following cancer treatment.

To register for Relay for Life or make a donation, call Chris Hallock, 378-8237; or Christine Gabler, 378-8928. For information about the American Cancer Society, visit www.cancer.org or call (800) ACS-2345.

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