By Cierra Nalani Richards ’17
To my future children,
For a decade now I have participated in Relay for Life. Even though I seem to hardly find time for daily tasks, I am still eager to lend a hand. I donate about the same amount of hours as a part time job so your lives can be improved by the advances made today. I will also continue to relay throughout your lives as well to better the lives of your children.
According to the American Cancer Society (ACS) statistics, each year in the United States more than one million people are diagnosed with cancer. My hope is that by the time you’re old enough to read and understand this, that number will be drastically reduced or obliterated. I, as well as over 2.5 million others all around the world, have given our time, funds and support for many years to those fighting this disease in the hope that one day we may live in a cancer free world. Mommy relays for hope.
According to the history page on American Cancer Society’s website, between 1650 and 1800 A.D. those with cancer were ostracized for fear that their condition was contagious. Today we know that this accusation is false. More than 14 million cancer survivors are currently alive in the United States thanks to the groundbreaking research made specifically in the past century. Much of this research, $5 billion worth, has been funded by Relay for Life. In modern times, communities everywhere celebrate survivors overcoming cancers trials. Mommy relays to celebrate.
Though many people have been saved through the efforts to end cancer, way too many lives are still being taken way too soon. According to the American Cancer Society’s 2015 cancer statistics, the rate of a man developing cancer in his lifetime is 1:2, and a woman’s rate of developing cancer is 1:3. When donations are made to cancer research, the money goes towards the hope of a world with more birthdays and less cancer. The goal of many organizations today is making sure those who have lost their lives are not forgotten and those who are currently facing cancer have a strong support system. Mommy relays to remember.
Notable improvements have been made in survival rates for most cancer types. According to the American Cancer Society, death rates from cancer have been steadily declining in both men and women, and in all races, since the early 1990s. Since 1991, the combined death rate has dropped approximately 25 percent. About 1.5 million cancer deaths have been averted as a result of almost two decades of extensive research leading to earlier detection and advances in treatment. Mommy relays to fight back.
We’ve come far but we still have a long way to go. I truly believe if we all come together we can all contribute to the cure. The spare change of today and the time donated by volunteers will make all the difference for the future. Your future. Why do I relay when I have so many other things to do? Well, sweetie, mommy relays for life.
P.S. Anyone interested can find out more about how to get involved at http://www.cancer.org/involved/participate/relayforlife/index
PLU’s next Relay will be on April 15, 2016.