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 must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core
It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.
Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.
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.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
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.
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- State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core