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.
‘Pothole blitz’ badly needed service coming in West Virginia
Hopefully, the heavy snow and extremely cold weather of January, February and early March are in the past.
Remnants of the harsh winter, though, remain. They’re faced each day by the state’s drivers.
Potholes have West Virginia’s roads in their worst condition in years, and the damaging freeze-thaw cycle is not over.
‘The issues are complicated’ with e-cigarettes
E-cigarettes have been around for about seven years.
But you’d be shocked at how long the idea for the the tobacco-less product has been around.
“A primitive, battery-operated ‘smokeless non-tobacco cigarette’ was patented as early as 1963 and described in Popular Mechanics in 1965,” Megan McArdle wrote for Business Week last monty.
Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition
Coal already has a bad name in Washington, D.C.
The whole industry got another black eye this week when Alpha Natural Resources Inc., one of the country’s largest coal producers, agreed to pay a $27.5 million fine and invest $200 million to reduce illegal water pollution in five states, including West Virginia.
Being observant, reporting suspicions can make difference for hurting children
If a child is hurting, we wouldn’t hesitate to help.
Or would we?
In a five-year span, 22,830 children were victims of some type of neglect or abuse in West Virginia. That’s an overwhelming number to think about.
Gee makes major impact and earns another term as WVU president
Let’s imagine that a graduate from West Virginia University in the early 1980s, when E. Gordon Gee was president, came back to get an extra degree now and couldn’t believe that E. Gordon Gee is “still” the president of WVU.
Effort to encourage purchase of goods produced in U.S. deserves support
The concept of encouraging the purchase of American-made products is certainly not new.
On the federal level, the Buy American Act was passed in 1933 by Congress and signed by President Herbert Hoover. It required the United States government to prefer U.S.-made products in its purchases.
‘Stop Meth, Not Meds’ backed by readers
In West Virginia, there is something referred to as “stop-sale technology” that prevents a person from going to more than one pharmacy to purchase over-the-counter medication that contains the active ingredient pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant.
It’s not an issue of stuffy noses that lawmakers were worried about when they created the system.
Even small steps play part in critical mission to reduce childhood obesity
Just two years ago, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, meaning they had excess body weight based on their height.
It’s a troubling statistic, and one that health officials have worked diligently to reverse.
Cutting-edge heart procedure at Mon General is saving lives
“I used to think I wouldn’t live to be 50. Well, I made it to 50 and then some,” Pearl Walls said.
Walls is likely alive today and able to tell her story to the Times West Virginian because of a cutting-edge procedure performed at Monongalia General Hospital — a Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), which was only approved for use by the FDA in 2011.
Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ many works, magic words
You know his words.
You know them well.
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