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.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community
Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
Marion County is full of volunteers.
They read to our youth.
They assist nonprofit agencies.
They serve on boards and committees.
And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.
Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law
West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.
Strong Fairmont General Hospital badly needed to serve our region
Mere minutes often matter when it comes to emergency health care.
That’s why we need a strong Fairmont General Hospital.
When patients need the services of health-care professionals, having family and friends close at hand is often essential, and their presence may even lead to a better outcome.
COLUMN: Fairmont General Hospital vital part of community
There’s nothing better than holding a newborn baby. It gives you a little feeling that not only is everything right in the world, but this perfect little human represents hope of a future where things will be better than they are today.
I had that blessed opportunity to hold that hopeful future in my arms last week when I visited my dear friend Jen and her newborn son Tristan at Fairmont General Hospital.
Putting a cost on safety issue has been culprit in 13 traffic deaths
Would you believe that an item costing just 57 cents — less than the price of a can of pop — is being cited as the culprit in 13 traffic deaths?
A simple 57-cent item.
That’s how much fixing the fatal ignition switches that General Motors installed in new automobiles would have cost, and 13 lives would probably have been saved.
TextLimit app one more step in cutting down distracted driving
Every day in the United States, nine people are killed and more than 1,000 people are injured in vehicle accidents that involve distracted drivers.
That statistic comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which goes on to say that 69 percent of U.S. drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 reported that they had talked on their cellphone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed.
- More Opinion Headlines
- State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary