Inspire others to make a difference | Editorial

Relay for Life is July 24-25, 5:30 p.m. to 11 a.m., on the Friday Harbor High School football field. Last year’s event raised $72,000 for the American Cancer Society.

Money raised supports local services, as well as research leading to cures and improved quality of life.

Money you raise pays for hotel discounts for islanders who must go to the mainland for treatment.

Money you raise supports Look Good Feel Good, which helps women living with cancer learn special cosmetic techniques to manage the appearance-related side effects of cancer and its treatment. Geri Chutuk of San Juan Island is the local Look Good Feel Good representative.

Money you raise supports Road to Recovery, which provides rides to and from treatment for patients who do not have a ride or are unable to drive themselves. There is a Road to Recovery driver in Friday Harbor.

Money you raise supports Reach to Recovery, a program that matches patients with volunteers — many of whom are cancer survivors — who can provide a measure of comfort, emotional grounding and assistance is making informed health decisions.

Money you raise supports the National Cancer Information Center helpline — 1-800-227-2345. The helpline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

So, join Relay for Life and make a big difference. 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.

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 about $500 million in research grants in effect today. Each year, the Friday Harbor 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.

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.

To register for Relay for Life or to make a donation, contact chairwoman Christine Gabler Minney, 378-8928, christineminney@hotmail.com. For information about the American Cancer Society, call (800) ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org

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