Some of them are people we may see every day.
But there is nothing characteristic about them to say they have cancer — or ever have had cancer.
We might be able to see ourselves in their lives.
Some of us have been encouraged to take the same necessary steps that they have taken — even though we don’t realize it. Mammograms, colonoscopies, Pap tests — the things suggested while we are fighting to eradicate cancer.
Marion County’s Relay for Life is coming up Friday evening at Fairmont State University. It’s one of the more positive things that takes place in Marion County each year, although many people who have not experienced “Relay” think it may be a sad and somber event.
That’s why the Times West Virginian is featuring a different individual each day this week — people who may be involved with the Relay for Life on Friday, people who either have defeated cancer or have battled it successfully for a long period of time.
This editorial, and the features that will accompany and follow it, do not point out that cancer is on the verge of being defeated. How we wish that was true.
But the stories being published this week should let people know that cancer is no longer an automatic death warning. While it still kills far too many people, many cancer victims are being placed in the “survivor” category. If you don’t believe it, check the number of people walking in the “Survivor’s Walk” Friday evening.
It is quite ironic that in the 2012 Relay, a longtime member of the Carings and Sharing cancer support group — a woman in her 90s — collapsed and died. She passed away while being active on an evening when survival is celebrated and hope about even better news about battling the disease in the future runs high.
Heart disease has been on the rampage for years, while cancer is coming in a close second. Heart disease accounted for 597,689 deaths in the United States in 2010, and cancer was right behind with 574,743. Chronic lower respiratory diseases ranked third with 138,080 deaths.
Cardiovascular disease remains the largest cause of death worldwide, while cancer still is in second place.
But we’re not soft-pedaling the fact that cancer deaths still exist.
Hopefully that number will be decreasing as more scientific research becomes available on the subject.
We think it’s a good thing that people who have had cancer enjoy celebrating each year with a positive Relay for Life. One might find that many people they come in contact with each day might be among those taking part in the Cancer Survivor’s Walk.
Relay for Life has grown tremendously in less than three decades. In May 1985, Dr. Gordy Klatt walked and ran for 24 hours around a track in Tacoma, Wash., raising $27,000 to help the American Cancer Society fight the critical, ongoing battle.
A year later, 340 supporters joined the overnight event.
Since those first steps, the Relay For Life movement has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, raising more than $4 billion to fight cancer.
We sincerely encourage all to participate in Friday’s Relay for Life and celebrate survival and build hope that even more cancer patients will be blessed with a cure.
Some of them are people we may see every day.
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.
Funds donated to United Way make community healthier, happier, safer place
A dollar you give to the United Way of Marion County could feed a hungry family.
That dollar could protect a woman and her children from an abuser.
Or the dollar could mean that a family receives credit counseling to lift them out of overwhelming debt.
It could fund Scouting programs, where boys and girls learn lifelong lessons.
Project Launchpad puts critical concept of diversifying state economy into play
The case for diversifying the state of West Virginia’s economy is past the point of debate.
While it is our hope that coal can continue to have a role in our nation’s power-generating matrix, we’ve learned our lesson about over-dependence on a single industry. Particularly being overly dependent on an industry that, in the eyes of federal regulators, is out of fashion.
- More Opinion Headlines
- Coal industry can’t afford to give this administration and EPA more ammunition