So much accomplished.
So much more to be done.
The annual Marion County Relay for Life was held Friday inside the Falcon Center on the shared campus of Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College — moved indoors for the first time because of weather. It was held three weeks after Mannington’s Relay for Life, also a growing, annual event held this year at Hough Park.
Emotions, as always, run high.
Relay for Life is a celebration for those who have survived cancer and an opportunity to remember those we love who have passed away. It’s an opportunity to raise funds in the ongoing battle to prevent and cure cancer, and both county events raise tens of thousands of dollars.
A highlight, as always, is the survivors’ walk.
Breast cancer survivor Sharon Maier showed her emotions at the Fairmont Relay for Life as the survivors took their lap around the Falcon Center.
“I was balling because I’m thankful for being alive and to see everybody,” Maier said. “It’s just like a big family.”
A big family indeed — the survivors and their strong supporters.
“Looking at all these survivors and all these people for us, it was great,” Maier said. “It’s amazing how many supporters we have — it’s really wonderful.”
Later in the night, participants celebrated the lighting of the luminaria — specially decorated bags with candles inside to honor cancer survivors and remember those who have passed on.
We sincerely appreciate all who are involved with Relay for Life — from those who organize the annual events to the survivors, the volunteers and those who so generously give to support a cause that affects virtually all of us.
It’s not a one-day-a-year event; it’s a cause that requires effort each and every day.
There has been remarkable progress in the national fight against cancer. American Cancer Society statistics show the death rate from cancer in the U.S. has fallen 20 percent from its peak in 1991.
Between 1990-91 and 2009, the most recent year for which data is available, overall death rates decreased by 24 percent in men, 16 percent in women and 20 percent overall. This translates to almost 1.2 million deaths from cancer that were avoided. Death rates continue to decline for lung, colon, breast and prostate cancers. The drop in lung cancer is attributed to reductions in smoking, while the drop in prostate, colon and breast cancer is attributed to improvements in early detection and treatment.
At the same time, the American Cancer Society forecasts 1,660,290 new cancer cases and 580,350 deaths from cancer in the U.S. in 2013.
That means the spirit shown during Relay for Life — from education to outreach to research — must never fall by the wayside.
“In 2009, Americans had a 20 percent lower risk of death from cancer than they did in 1991, a milestone that shows we truly are creating more birthdays,” said John R. Seffrin, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society.
“But we must also recognize that not all demographic groups have benefited equally from these gains, particularly those diagnosed with colorectal or breast cancer, where earlier detection and better treatments are credited for the improving trends. We can and must close this gap so that people are not punished for having the misfortune of being born poor and disadvantaged.”
Marion County has shown it’s up for the long-term fight.
So much accomplished.
United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project
The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.
COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard
I love to talk to readers.
I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
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Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?
Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.
Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions
This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year
It’s happening again.
It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.
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