It’s that time of year again when Marion County residents celebrate those who conquered cancer and remember those who tried.
My mother ultimately died from cancer after a valiant eight-year battle with the painful and indiscriminate disease. It started in a breast and eventually spread to her spinal cord, leaving her paralyzed. She had this incredible determination that cancer was not going to get her — at least not on cancer’s terms.
She had cancer in the 1980s when there wasn’t much hope associated with the disease. Treatments were extreme, leaving my mother and our family wondering if the disease was going to get her or the treatment.
She lost the battle but was a warrior to the end — she never gave up.
The list of people we know and love who have battled or continue to battle cancer grows longer with each passing year.
Strides have been made. Earlier detection is possible. Treatments are more effective. People are surviving or at least living longer than before.
Instead of contributing to a 48-hour telethon by a celebrity, our friends and neighbors will take to the track this weekend in the annual Marion County Relay For Life. Teams of local supporters have probably asked for donations toward the relay and a luminary in honor of a survivor or in memory of a victim. If not, call one of the organizers and give generously.
We need to support this effort. The majority of these funds will go toward research.
Through research, there is hope for a cure.
— susan berg